Four years ago today Hollywood lost one of the most beloved filmmakers of our generation. John Hughes died of a heart attack while taking a morning walk. He was only 59 years old. He is survived by Nancy, who was his wife of over 39 years, their two sons, and four grandchildren. He is also survived by a collection of films that became the touchstone genre for adolescence and coming of age. Ask someone in their thirties to late forties to name a favorite movie by John Hughes and there will be a pause. Not because they can’t think of a favorite, but because it is impossible to pick just one!
For me, it’s always been Some Kind of Wonderful. I loved the earnest characters, the theme of money that always played a pivotal role in a John Hughes film, and the love story. And yet, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing if Ferris Bueller or Sixteen Candles is on TV. These films, their dialogue and character structures, have become a part of our vernacular.
In an interview with Roger Ebert on the set of The Breakfast Club, Hughes said, “Kids are smart enough to know that most teenage movies are just exploiting them. They’ll respond to a film about teenagers as people. [My] movies are about the beauty of just growing up. I think teenage girls are especially ready for this kind of movie, after being grossed out by all the sex and violence in most teenage movies. People forget that when you’re 16, you’re probably more serious than you’ll ever be again. You think seriously about the big questions.”
My favorite radio station is playing music from John Hughes movies today as a tribute to the man who influenced and inspired so many. I’m going to crank up the O.M.D.
The Cast of 6 John Hughes Films: Then and Now
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