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So Long John Hughes, And Thanks For All The Ferris

August 6, 2009

Read the New York Times obituary here.

Hughes paradoxically nailed the high school experience precisely by totally missing what high school was actually like. His movies are uncanny in their ability to suspend the audience’s disbelief about something we’ve all been part of; we even question whether our own experience was indeed the fake one and Hughes’ the real we must be missing out on. From gearheads to jocks and prudes to freshman perverts, any movie attempting to capture high school life inherits the (in actuality much more fluid) categories explored or implied by the adolescent ecosystems in Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

But his greatest contribution must be the characters burned into our collective imaginations, or at least the movie line-up on TBS.  From the Griswalds to Ringwald’s many leading roles, from Kevin McAllister to Uncle Buck, Hughes succeeded in making our families seem just a bit less dysfunctional, our high school proms just a bit less interesting, our vacations just a bit more smooth.  And then topped it off with a bittersweet ending.  Damn I’m already starting to get nostalgic about that time Chet Ripley ate that ginormous steak, grizzle and all.

Rest in peace, John Hughes.  If there is a heaven for prissy red heads, I hope you get weekend visitation rights.


What’s your favorite Hughes character/movie?  Writer, producer, or director counts.  I’m going to have to go with Cameron Frye 🙂

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 2:29 am

    I’m still a sucker for that moment at the end of Home Alone when Kevin McCallister’s looking out the window and sees that creepy old dude/misunderstood grandfather reunite with his long-lost son. Gets me every time!

  2. Justin Michael permalink
    August 7, 2009 8:59 am

    Interesting fact: I have never seen a John Hughes movie. This isn’t really a super-conscious decision, but for some reason I saw everything else TBS had to offer.

    Does this mean I have to give up my account here?

    Also, the picture in his obituary makes him look like an 80’s goth. Too soon?

    • August 7, 2009 12:24 pm

      Haha, if any time is too soon, I’d say it would be the day after the dude has a fatal heart attack, don’t you think?

      • Justin Michael permalink
        August 7, 2009 2:06 pm

        Psh. Coulda been sooner. You’re lucky I waited a day!

  3. The Mario Test? Mario's a Psycho permalink
    August 16, 2009 12:05 am

    “Baby’s Day Out”…fuck yeah.

    I know he just co-produced that one, but still…fuck yeah.

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