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R.I.P., John Hughes

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Just happened across the news that John Hughes has died of a heart attack at age 59.

I never saw most of the later movies he wrote, or even most of the later movies he directed.

But I liked most of the ones I did see, as a teenager, despite my initial scorn of the mainstreamness of teenage sex comedies. I vaguely recall that The Breakfast Club was the first movie that both my brother and I liked, though I may be misremembering.

That and Ferris Bueller are, of course, the ones everyone loved, and I liked them both well enough. But the one that I've always had a soft spot for was Some Kind of Wonderful. IIrc, it didn't hold up well to adult viewing, but (again iIrc) I liked it quite a lot when I first saw it. And the leads sure were attractive.

And I think in addition to making popular movies, Hughes was also influential. I have a theory, though I have no evidence at all of this, that some of the people who made movies like Ten Things I Hate About You grew up watching Hughes movies. (My theory runs aground a bit on the fact that the director of that movie and the director/writer of Clueless were both born in 1954. But one of the writers of Ten Things was born in 1970, anyway.)

Anyway. I'm sorry to see him go.

3 Comments

Amy Heckerling who wrote and directed Clueless (which is a modern day retelling of Emma) actually came to the teen film genre at the same time John Hughes did: Her first big hit was Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which was based of the non-fiction book by Cameron Crowe (he went back to high school in his 20's at the urging of his Rolling Stone editors.)


Good point. In fact, I even saw that in her credits when I looked her up last night, but I was too groggy to come to a coherent conclusion about it. Thanks for pointing it out!

I still have a feeling that there is a post-John Hughes generation (or two) of teen comedy directors and writers, but I'm no longer sure. Someone on Facebook pointed out that Kevin Smith has cited Hughes as an influence, but he doesn't make quite the same kind of high-school-focused movie.

Mostly-unrelated PS: Karen M points to an excellent piece by a woman who corresponded with Hughes all through her teen years, after seeing The Breakfast Club. Well worth reading.


For what it's worth, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was definitely Hughes-inspired.


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