Were his movies perfect? No, of course not. Nothing about being a teenager is perfect. Yet while there were no explicitly gay characters and far too few minority characters, we all identified with someone in a John Hughes movie. His characters weren’t stereotypes, they were archetypes. So we saw ourselves even when we didn’t actually see ourselves. He knew that in each of us really was a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.
But even while they followed a formula, they remain fresh. When he made a mistake like the ending of “Pretty in Pink” (She should have gone with Duckie!), he acknowledged and atoned with the altogether wonderful “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Though, we all know that Watts ultimately gave back those earrings and started dating girls in college.
And the girls, well, we could talk about them all day, That’s because they weren’t just superficial lust objects. OK, fine, Kelly LeBrock. But the rest of them gave as good as the guys. He made stars out of beautiful yet approachable girls with something to say – Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey, Mary Stuart Masterson.
Hughes had an especially soft spot for the nerds of the world. The dorks, the outsiders, the misunderstood – he championed them all. While he poked fun at their inherent nerdiness, it’s as if he knew that in the not too distant future the geeks would inherit the earth.
If you ever doubted that John Hughes cared about the teens he wrote about, read blogger Alison Fields’ touching tribute to the man who for many years was her pen pals. As he told her in one of his hand-written letters:
“I can't tell you how much I like your comments about my movies. Nor can I tell you how helpful they are to me for future projects. I listen. Not to Hollywood. I listen to you. I make these movies for you. Really. No lie. There's a difference I think you understand.”
Ultimately, what made a John Hughes movies a John Hughes movie is that everyone – the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adored him. They all thought he was a righteous dude. Thanks for the movies, John. And thanks for caring. Happy weekend, all.
p.s. I just couldn’t let a John Hughes movie post go without showing some of John Hughes’ movies. Enjoy.
Admit it, you totally made one of these sandwiches afterward.
Some Kind of Wonderful
Oh, Watts, Watts.
She's Having a Baby
This scene and Kate Bush's voice still make me well up.
The Obligatory Awesome John Hughes Movie Montage
Yeah, good luck finding any John Hughes movies at the video store this weekend.