John Hughes, 1950-2009

john hughes

John Hughes, writer, director & producer

Swooning over Jake Ryan…spending an entire Saturday in detention with a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal…standing up to the richies at prom…gawking at those diamond earrings that Keith bought with his college money, and cringing when Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari crashed through the garage wall…

I spent most of my childhood/adolescence memorizing, studying, even borderline worshiping these iconic teen/coming of age films, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And although I never did sweep the high school dreamboat off his feet, have a tender moment reuniting with my crush at prom, or bond with anyone in detention, it was the reality of just how painful adolescence could be at times that I related to: the insecurities, the desperate desires, and often feeling despair over the lack of power or control that one had over their life/social environment.

From peer pressure, to gossip and status–writer, director and producer, John Hughes, who wrote all five films listed above, in addition to many others–understood it all, the awkwardness, hilarity and heartbreak of being a teenager, and candidly unraveled the complexities through some of the most unforgettable characters in cinematic history.

With the 1980’s backdrop, these movies also captured and chronicled a beloved decade; its vibrant fashion, various styles of music, and contribution of countless products, slang and iconic personalities to pop culture.

Mr. Hughes passed away yesterday, at age 59, while visiting family in New York. He will be missed, but his voice and impact will live on, because despite the upgrade from Walkmans to Ipods, hanging out at virtual malls versus real malls,  and texting rather than passing paper notes in class, teen angst will always exist and no one told that story better than Mr. Hughes. May he rest in peace.

Below is a clip montage of Pretty in Pink, to OMD’s  “If You Leave.”


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