Just heard about John Hughes dying today and feel like a favorite teacher from high school just died. Not only did I come of age during his heydey, but I was particularly inspired creatively by some of the elements in his movies.
Like Molly Ringwald’s character in Pretty in Pink. I soooo wanted to be her. I wanted to be the one to MacGyver a supercool dress like she did for her prom.
Or drive a pink car that would be worthy of my WHY BE NORMAL bumper sticker at the time. (It didn’t have as much caché on my bronze-colored Toyota Tercel.)
And maybe I would’ve eventually figured out easy ways to plan a furniture arrangement, but watching Elizabeth McGovern’s character move newspaper rectangles around an empty room in She’s Having a Baby was the first time it occurred to me to plan something like that out before hauling the furniture in. It’s such a trivial part of the movie, but considering I remember those scenes vividly 21 years later, that obviously made an impression.
I’ll never forget the scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when they visited the Art Institute in Chicago and zoned in on Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. You couldn’t help but get a little lost in it yourself.
Not only was it empowering as a young woman to see Terry Garr’s character become the family breadwinner in Mr. Mom, it was also the first inkling I’d have of the absurdity and creative challenges I would eventually encounter as I pursued a career in advertising and graphic design.
Of course many, many more of Hughes’ movies are indelibly etched in my brain for other reasons…Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Breakfast Club, Vacation. Even later movies like Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Uncle Buck…they’re all part of my mental Favorites list.
If I didn’t have so much work to catch up on, I’d run my butt out to the local vid store and cue up a few.
As we used to say at Brazoswood High School back in the 80s, sadness occurs.