Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ~ Ferris Bueller
How sad was I to wake up to the news that John Hughes, at the age of 59, has died. This totally bums me out for lots of reasons, and also it is notable that I nearly wrote the “young age of 59.” I would guess there are few people of my age who aren’t ruminating on their John Hughes moments today – whether they were actual celluloid moments or those that took place while watching said celluloid moments. The whole experience was awesome. In the words of the illustrious Grace, “Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”
The best John Hughes movie ever has got to be Ferris Bueller… though 16 Candles, Vacation and The Breakfast Club are certainly right there with it. I hope you never have to watch any of these movies with me because I can recite all of the lines. However, regardless of your cinematic opinion, if you are my age, Hughes scripted your adolescence, or you wished he had. [Let’s also not forget that Jay and Silent Bob would be missing a whole chapter without Hughes as they were on a mission to find the fictitious Shermer High School in Mall Rats – because it was the obvious market for the chronic.] Kevin Smith called him our generation’s Salinger. The Slate referred to him as the first Balzac of the homeroom in an article totally worth reading about Hughes’ point of view, and point of origin in many ways.
With his passing I feel one more step removed from said adolescence, and though I am totally okay with that, I am very glad to have had him as the auteur du decade for my coming of age. I learned so much from him, along with Ferris, Cameron, Farmer Ted, Samantha, Jim Baker, Grace, John Bender (I will always ♥ you), even Dick Vernon & Ed Rooney, and perhaps especially Carl the Janitor. The characters were awesome and the soundtracks unforgettable. And though I never had a totally hot guy show up in his Porsche and wait for me to come out of a ridiculous wedding, who didn’t have Samantha Baker moments at at least on high school dance? Some other choice moments? Remember these ones?
- “Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.” Simone
- “I’m being honest, asshole. I would expect you to know the difference.” John Bender
- “This information cannot leave this room. Ok? It would devastate my reputation as a dude.” The Geek/Farmer Ted
- “Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.” Buck Russell
- “You wear too much eye makeup. My sister wears too much. People think she’s a whore.” Boy in police station (Charlie Sheen)
- “Chicks cannot hold their smoke, dat’s what it is.” Brian Johnson
- “What was he wearing? Well, uh, let’s see, he was wearing a red argyle sweater, and tan trousers, and red shoes… No, he’s not retarded.” Grandpa Howard
- “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?” The Breakfast Club
Thank you, John. You painted a magnificent picture… and you are a righteous dude.
I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it. ~ Cameron Frye