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Pop culture junkie, native of Las Vegas, not really a writer.
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Friday, August 7, 2009

My John Hughes Top 10

The passing of John Hughes is truly the end of an era. The movies he wrote in the 80s completely informed my life. I watched them over and over again. I loved Molly Ringwald because she was a redhead like me and whenever there was a redhead in the movies (Annie, Molly) or on TV (Sheila from Dungeons & Dragons), or even in a book (Anne of Green Gables) I had hope that my awful red hair wouldn't be a hindrance to me through the rest of my life the way it felt like a hindrance when I was very young. Kids are cruel. Redheads stick out. We get ridiculed. It makes no sense, but it's the way it is.

Anyway, over the summer some theaters in town had a Flashback Features series and I saw Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles on the big screen. I still know most of the words by heart. With Pretty in Pink I still love Andie and Fiona, I still hate Blaine, I still love Duckie, I still think Stef is kind of sexy, I still love The Smiths. With The Breakfast Club I still laugh at most of Bender's lines, I still feel sorry for Brian, I still hate it when they make Allison "pretty" at the end! And Sixteen Candles, oh Sixteen Candles! I couldn't wait to grow up and go to parties like the one thrown at Jake Ryan's house while his parents were out of town (I went to a few, but they never quite lived up to it). I still love Sam, I still drool over Jake, I still laugh at the Geek and Long Duk Dong. Sixteen Candles is the one I most identified with. It really got the feeling of being a teenager. I can remember being at school dances and crying over the boy that didn't know you liked him in the first place.

You can see my John Hughes Top 10 list with notes below. It wasn't easy and I've switched things around over and over again. But I think I have it set now.

1. Sixteen Candles - For all the reasons stated above it edged out Ferris to capture my number one spot.
2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off - I worshipped Ferris as a tween. He is so charming and together, yet so naughty. I love Cameron. I love the friendship between the three leads. I remember thinking it was so sweet when Sloane and Cameron are walking together slightly away from the parade, discussing Ferris and his craziness and what they'll do after graduation and Cameron is holding her hand. It was a revelation to me that a boy and a girl that are only friends could hold hands!
3. Some Kind of Wonderful - Besides Mask, Eric Stoltz has never looked more terrible than in this film, yet I loved him. He was so sensitive and artistic and blind. Who could possibly go for Amanda Jones over Watts?? Was he crazy? I wore out my copy of this soundtrack. The scene where Watts teaches Keith to kiss a girl was always my favorite. When he grasps the back of her jeans? Sexy!
4. Weird Science - I had a bit of a crush on Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt. I loved his voice, kind of raspy and squeaky. What ever happened to that kid? And Kelly LeBrock was so crazy beautiful and as Lisa she was so badass!
5. Pretty in Pink - I still don't see what Andie saw in Blaine over the devoted Duckie. All Blaine ever did was insult her: "Do you want to go home and change?" he asks, when she already had. "We could go hang out with your friends if you want, go crawl under a rock." Uh, hello asshole? Now of course, she had been friends with Duckie since childhood so he felt like a brother to her. I get that. But couldn't Hughes have written a slightly better character for her to fall for than Blaine? But still, so many great lines and scenes and music! I luv it.
6. Mr. Mom - I can't tell you how many times my cousin Jenny and I watched this movie. Michael Keaton was so funny when he went all mommy and we laughed at the way he took care of the kids: using the iron to make a grilled cheese sandwich, stapling the kid's blanket when it rips. We cracked up when he battled the vacuum cleaner and when the baby gets into the can of chili.
7. The Breakfast Club - Again, for all the reasons listed above.
8. Vacation - Chevy Chase chasing Christie Brinkley across America. That's what I think about when I think about this movie. Oh and Randy Quaid was the greatest.
9. Career Opportunities - I loved Frank Whalley. This movie is very silly and fun and speaks to that fantasy of being locked in a department store or mall overnight and what kind of fun you could have. And Jennifer Connolly is hot. I wished I looked like her in a white tank top.
10. The Great Outdoors - Boy, Chris Young sure was a dreamboat to this twelve year old girl. And the rest of the cast was a hoot too!

I'm sure I'll catch some flack for no Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but for some reason that one missed me. It was never something I watched over and over again. Same with Uncle Buck. She's Having A Baby MIGHT have made this list, but only for the heartbreaking Kate Bush music montage at the end. That's really the only part of the movie worth watching.

I sure hope John Hughes passed with the full knowledge of what his movies have meant to my generation. It's quite a legacy he has left.


  1. I want to watch all these now--I'm so glad that you got to see them in theaters again! I tried to rank my faves but it was way too hard, haha.

  2. I don't know if I could even rank them!

    Wait. Maybe Some Kind of Wonderful would be at the top. :-)


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