whether or not he deserved his own special memorial at the Oscars, a documentary about trying to secure an interview with him and just how realistic his films were, leading to a debate on what film realism truly is.
Not bad for a dude who's entire career could just about be summed up with one word: Bueller.
Maybe auteurism does exist in American film after all?
Why that word, though?
Well aren't all of his best films (save for Planes, Trains and Automobiles; the proof that he actually was a humanist and not just a teen sympathizer) about young men and women going against the societal norms laid out for them? Aren't they also about teens not only learning to dance to the beat of their own tune, but finding out just which instrument they are best suited to play? The Breakfast Club (Hughes' "masterpiece"?) bringing the whole band together in one place?
Last night I watched Weird Science, which, although I haven't seen She's Having a Baby or Curly Sue, I think it's safe to say is Hughes' most rambunctious film. For better or worse that is. But I don't know, I kind of admired that quality about it. No other Hughes teen comedy went quite so far, after all, as to have computer generated women, metal-faced leather clad biker dudes or a big brother turned into a life sized frog man.
Even big brother gaining access to the hero's bedroom via shotgun blast is a little out of this world. Although, a movie that features all the contents of a room being sucked up and shot out the chimney including the young girl playing the piano who is, god bless her, strong enough to hold on longer than her bra, can't be all that bad, can it?
So yep, the movie is fun. But what holds it all together and propels it up the ranks into note worthy-ness, as always, is John Hughes the humanist. Sure, Hughes the teen anarchist is what we love, but it doesn't work unless you can relate to the teens at the centre of the drama.
So, just as important in the mix is the John Hughes that relates to the teens that don't fit. The two best buds who can't get a girl to even look at them, let alone get laid. The dudes who get picked on by the popular morons with the hot girlfriends.
If that's you, forget about the mechanics of plot or the depth of the reality. John Hughes was on your side.
And that's what I finally think has kept Hughes alive and relevant all these years. He played on both the emotions and imaginations of teenagers who don't understand that everyone goes through the same things and provided solace in knowing that maybe your older brother is a flaming douchebag as well, but at least he's not blowing down doors one round of buckshot at a time, even if, sometimes, that's what it feels like.