59 Candles

My sister said the other day:  “Celebrities are dropping like flies.”

I was out all day yesterday, and when I came home and checked my facebook, I couldn’t believe it.  While riding the log ride at Kiddieland, the news broke that John Hughes had died.

The fact that we even know the name of this writer/director is the first indicator of how huge a figure he was.  It wasn’t just a movie…it was a John Hughes movie.

They were achingly true.  The teens in his movies were real.  Sure, they all had perfect hair…but they were filled with the flaws and insecurities that haunted us all at that age.  Anyone could pull a character out of those movies and say “Hey, that’s me!”…or my best friend, or that guy at school.

In the 70’s, the teen movies mostly looked back at the teens of the 50’s or 60’s.  American Graffiti was a great movie, but I couldn’t relate to anyone in that film.  It was about my parents as teenagers.  Not me.

Who didn’t want to be Sam from Sixteen Candles…swept off her feet by the most gorgeous boy at school.  What one of us didn’t find a character in The Breakfast Club that fit how we felt about ourselves or our classmates?

One thing I wish to thank him for with all  my heart is that he resisted the opportunities to make sequels to his films.  What studio wouldn’t have paid for The Breakfast Club: Monday at School. I shudder just thinking about it.  There was no Ferris II, no Seventeen Candles.

There are so many of us that grew up in the age of the John Hughes film.  We all went to see them.  We all sighed at the end hoping that the people in our high school could be like that.  We all hoped that someone would see through our label and really get to know us.

None of that happened, of course, but it gave us the chance to dream a little.

Though he hadn’t made much in the way of movies lately, it is still a horrible blow to me that there can never be another John Hughes film.  His insight will be sorely missed.

Saturday, March 24,1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.

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