August 10, 2009

Everything I need to know I learnt from a John Hughes movie

Like so many people, especially those who were teenagers in the mid to late 80s, I was very sad to hear that John Hughes died last week. Even though my most recent re-viewing of Sixteen Candles made me feel a little less adoration for him (and since his death I've had to get over my guilt for feeling anything negative about the man who is being remembered as a the titan of teen angst), many of his movies hold a very special place in my heart.

Pretty in Pink will always be my #1 favourite because Andy is smart and she sews (let's forget the heinous prom dress for a moment), and Duckie is the sweetest crusher a teenage girl could hope for, and back in the day I thought Blaine was the most perfect boyfriend material ever (these days, Andrew McCarthy looks too much like one of my exes - rather takes the shine off). And also the soundtrack is fantastic. And there's a Smiths poster on the wall in the record store.

Of course, I also loveloveloved The Breakfast Club, in which I identified with Ally Sheedy's nymphomaniac/pathological liar character a little too much. I remember there was a huge buzz when TBC was released and it became the movie of the summer of year 10. So much so, that a casual fling decided that he'd go for the Judd Nelson look, dyed his (almost white-blond) hair black, ripped up a perfectly good flannelette shirt and took to wearing a leather fingerless glove. Needless to say, he looked nothing like Judd Nelson.

Sixteen Candles I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, and I do still love it even though some of its veneer has been rubbed away for me. Interestingly, I didn't see SC until I was in my 20s, so the whole Jake Ryan fascination passed me by the first time around. Maybe not having any teenage memories attached to the film is also how I'm able to be critical about it?

And finally, an unexpected (to me) JH film that I love dearly is Uncle Buck. I went to see it at Hoyts on George St with my then boyfriend and a mate of ours who'd taken to playing gooseberry. It was this mate's idea to see UB and to be honest I really wasn't keen; I didn't think John Candy was funny and, at 16, fancied myself as more arthouse than 'family' in the movie stakes. But I loved it, and it made me want an Uncle Buck of my own.

Vale John Hughes, a man who really knew hs way around teen angst.

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