John Hughes: Writer, Director, Producer
John Hughes, whose movies about teenage life became classics, died yesterday at the age of 59. He dominated 1980s box office with hits like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. His movies also turned young actors like Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, and the Brat Pack (Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, et al.) into stars.
Most of the movies Hughes made about teenage angst came out when I was a teenager. Even though I came from a different cultural background than the kids in the movies, I could relate to everything they were going through. My favorite movie was The Breakfast Club. I'm not a person who collects movies, but I liked The Breakfast Club so much that I bought it. “...what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely Yours, The Breakfast Club.”
The strength of John Hughes and the reason I love the movie so much is that it's universal. I didn't grow up in the Chicago suburbs like the kids in the movie, but I knew all those kids. I felt a lot like Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) when I was in high school. We all knew those kids and some of us were those kids, which is why the movie had such an impact. Furthermore, the strength of the movie is the lesson it taught. Take five very different people, give them an opportunity to get to know one another, and you find out you have a lot more in common than you thought. That lesson applies across all ages, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. John Hughes didn't just make us laugh in his movies, he made us think as well. Thanks, John.