John Hughes defined my teens. Growing up with his films made my teenage years bearable. He defined what it was to be an American teenager in the 1980's and taught me that I was not alone. Basically, he made films that said it was ok to be a fucked up confused American teen. The aggregation of his characters are part of me and probably part of anyone my age who has seen and enjoyed his work.
"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." That quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off is easily the most iconic line from of any of his films. It is a mantra and should be repeated on a daily basis.
John Hughes taught me that it was ok to be unique and that it was ok to break the rules. He taught me that having fun is really important and that you don't have to be the most popular kid in the class to have a great life. "Pulling a George" (a phrase some of you may have heard) is a direct result of watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off over and over and over again.
He taught me that it is important to relax. "If anyone needs a day off, it's Cameron. He has a lot of things to sort out before he graduates. Can't be wound up this tight and go to college, his roommate will kill him. ... Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond."
He taught me it was perfectly ok to go against the grain ... and even to be dangerous, every once and a while.
I've always loved art, but there's a scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off when they visit the Art Institute of Chicago which changed the way I look at things. The scene depicts the budding romance between Feris and Sloane but really revolves around Cameron's immersion into and self-discovery within Georges Seurat's Un dimanche après-midi à l'Ile de la Grande Jatte. It is a beautiful moment, and I've never looked at Pointillism or Seurat the same way since.
I discovered The Smiths (and thus Morrissey) thanks to that scene, and they've been a favourite of mine ever since. His soundtracks are incredible. The OST to "Pretty In Pink" is the standout of the bunch, but there are classic tracks all over his films. If you have Spotify, here's a playlist contaning a bunch of tunes from various John Hughes soundtracks: Don't You Forget About John Hughes.
In John Hughes films, it is ok to be a geek and use computers.
The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California is my favourite car. "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."
Cameron: The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion. Ferris: It is his fault he didn't lock the garage.
Photo: Warner Brothers
He wrote the screenplay for “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”
Photo: Universal Pictures/Everett Collection
I fell in love with Molly Ringwald when I saw her in "Sixteen Candles".
Richard Vernon: What if your home... what if your family... what if your *dope* was on fire? John Bender: Impossible, sir. It's in Johnson's underwear.
As Gordon Macmillan points out, John Hughes started out as a copywriter at Leo Burnett in Chicago. There's something strangely appropriate that he worked in advertising at some point in his career.
Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But 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.
John Hughes died yesterday. I will miss him. He was special.