Sunday, August 9, 2009

Don't You Forget About John Hughes

We lost an American institution to coronary heart disease this week, John Hughes. This man was one of the most celebrated film directors of the 1980s. I mean, he wasn't like a Scorcese or a Coppola, but he directed a ton of memorable, age defining movies. He made light movies that people enjoyed and could watch again and again. From feel good comedies to awkward teen romances, he owned the 80s. He single-handedly made Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. Created them out of a rib I think. He was most known for his work with the Brat Pack, he literally defined the genre, but he was also a writer on movies like National Lampoon's Vacation, Home Alone, Beethoven, and 101 Dalmations (the one with Glenn Close, obvs). Plus all his movies had stellar soundtracks. So as a tribute, this is my countdown of my favorite John Hughes movies.

No Pretty in Pink is not on the list. Why you ask? Well, I have a real problem with the ending. I feel like Molly Ringwald should have ended up with John Cryer and not with Andrew McCarthy. And obviously I was right...John Cryer is one of the highest paid actors on television now...Two and a Half Men. Andrew McCarthy had a bit role on Gossip Girl this past season, so yeah, I stand by my choice. Great freaking soundtrack though--Echo & the Bunnymen, OMD, Psychedelic Furs? Amazing.

5. Weird Science. Take two awkward guys who can't get laid (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith). Add a computer stimulation project gone awry, creating a sexy, badass super-being (Kelly LeBrock...who was hotter than her in that movie, btw?) who helps them gain confidence and out wit the bullies (one being Robert Downey Jr!), thus gaining them the hearts of two cute girls. Then set it to an Oingo Boingo fueled soundtrack. Awesomeness is the result. Really, it's the modern day Frankenstein.

4. Sixteen Candles. Who didn't love Jake Ryan in the 80s? This is probably Molly Ringwald's best role, Sam Baker, geekyish nobody who is in love with the popular senior who doesn't know she exists. Seriously her life sucks. Her family forgets her birthday... her sweet sixteen...because they are all really fucked up and plus her sister is getting married the next day. Somehow there's a foreign exchange student staying with them, Long Duk Dong, and even he finds a girlfriend when Sam is forced to take him to a school dance. Anthony Michael Hall is this geek who is in love with Sam, cue the famous panty flashing scene, but he inexplicably ends up with the Prom queen when she gets completely shitfaced and is broken up with by Jake. Everyone knows the climax of the movie, the quintessential scene of the 80s, the kiss over the birthday cake. As a female, I think it's one of the best scenes ever.

3. Some Kind of Wonderful. This is a severely underrated movie, judging by the fact that I've been searching for it in stores for awhile now, and it's not available anywhere. Yes I'm aware I could purchase it on the internet, but for some reason I don't like doing that. The premise is time tested, Mary Stuart Masterson has a huge unrequited crush on her best friend Eric Stolz, who has a huge unrequited crush on the effervescent Amanda (Lea Thompson). Let the awkwardness and teen angst ensue. This film marked Candace Cameron's first role too, as Eric Stolz's little sister. Unlike Pretty in Pink, this movie has a happy ending, and the two best friends end up together, and the world is right. This movie gives hope to the cute, smart, funny best friend...because you know you're more like that girl than the glamazon hot chick.

2. The Breakfast Club. This is my favorite Brat Pack movie, and one of my all time favorites in general. It truly has stood the test of time, and has been the inspiration for many a television show and movie (i.e. the Dawson's Creek episode that ripped it off). The premise is simple, what happens when you put a princess, a jock, a criminal, a brain and a basket case together in detention? Magic. That's what. And a library. That scene at the end where Judd Nelson puts Molly Ringwald's earring in his ear set to Simple Minds' Don't You Forget About Me? Perfect cinematic ending. And Emilio Estevez unexpectedly falling for the made over cute-as-a-button Ally Sheedy? Amazing. The reason why Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) gets detention? Frighteningly clairvoyant. Everyone is represented, and that's the point. The point is that no matter who you are, what niche your personality fits in, you have a little bit of all those characters within you. You can relate to every single one of them. There is no better example of a teen movie. This is it. If you had one movie to pick from the Brat Pack genre, you pick the Breakfast Club. It is defining.

1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. This is the quintessential 1980s movie. I have never met anyone who didn't love this movie. Save Ferris. I mean, who doesn't want to be him? Ferris is the most popular guy, he skips school, drives Cameron's dad's Ferrari, goes to a Cubs game, pretends he's Abe Froman, sausage king of Chicago, dances in a parade. And he beats antagonist (and later real life sex offender) Mr. Rooney. There is nothing Ferris Bueller is incapable of, but yet it's a movie about his self-consciousness about leaving everything behind when he graduates. Everything about this movie is awesome, there isn't one scene that sucks. Matthew Broderick was brilliant, but it's his words that made the movie...and John Hughes wrote those words. Oh yeah.

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