Thursday, August 6, 2009

John Hughes

Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, European Vacation, and Home Alone are just a few titles that involved John Hughes a writer or director. Today Hughes died in New York and though he defined the genre of comedy for years Hughes has been retired as a director for almost 20 years. However, not even a few decades could make his work less influential on the generations of teens that have discovered it.

I must admit that I came to the world of John Hughes pretty late. I’m not talking about a film like Home Alone which defined my childhood, but Hughes feats as a writer and director – namely Ferris Bueller, Sixteen Candles & The Breakfast Club. Once I did discover Hughes in my late teens I was hooked.

While Hughes did not invent the teen comedy, he did show how it should be done. He didn’t feel the need to derive humor from sexual situations so common in today’s teen comedies, and more than anything he understood that no matter what film he was making it had to be filled with characters that were genuinely created and treated like human beings. His humor arose from the decisions the characters made based on their personalities and relationships with one another and more than anything they typically became different people by the end of the story no matter how subtly it was done. He was an artist, a comedian, and a hero to the audiences that saw themselves in his characters. Hughes has never had an equal.

Somewhere in Illinois the stars are twinkling bright, the teens are enjoying the summer freedom, and somewhere hearts are light. But there is no joy in Shermer, Illinois for their muse is no more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He did use sexual situations just not overt ones and unlike the ones of today they weren't tired ones.

He also really knew how to incorporate songs into his work, he was a master of the montage.