Monday, August 10, 2009

John Hughes: the original Brat Pack member

"Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?"

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off", starring Matthew Broderick, was just one of the many teen films created by director John Hughes during the 80's. This one, like his others, seemed to focus on the misfits, the weirdos, the social unacceptable. It is because of this that I, as a teen, flocked to his movies, like a kid who just got his braces off flocks to taffy. But why have I brought this up? Hughes passed away last Thursday and my movie channels were playing his movies all weekend long.

It was during this long weekend that I realized that even though his movies were made in the 80's, their message still seemed true to teens nowadays. Take my favorite movie, "Sixteen Candles". This movie is about a girl whose parents forget her sixteenth birthday, then a geek begins to ruin her reputation, and the boy she loves doesn't know she exists...or does he? Hughes not only seems to completely capture the fears, the cheers, the ups, and the downs of the teenage girl, but he also does it in a way that is real. We can all recall at a time when we seemed to feel all alone. Who hasn't had to death with that annoying freshman who just won't leave us alone? Movies about teens nowadays, picture teens as they wish they could be, but Hughes never did that. He showed raw teen angst at its highest and lowest. He never tried to make life into a big fantasy where every end is tied up nicely.

Now guys, don't worry. Not all of Hughes' movies were about girls and their drama. "The Breakfast Club", in all its Brat Pack glory, was about a group of teens from different cliques (a brain, a princess, a jock, a weirdo, and a rebel) stuck together because of Saturday detention, but by the end of their stay, they learned more about themselves and each other, than they did about not getting into trouble. This movie was the reason that sometimes I forget to bring my lanyard, hoping that I will end up in Saturday school. This movie seemed to capture every teen because it had us all. No one us can say that at one point in our high school career, we weren't branded by a label. I, myself, am a brain. But the point of the movie wasn't to show us what we are, it was to show us that we aren't our labels. I am a brain, but I also rebel, sometimes I act weird, I play sports, and sometimes I wanna be a princess. We are everything, and not one thing defines any of us.

So not only should we mourn the loss of a terrific director and fellow brat pack member, but we should also celebrate the fact that he made movies that have stood the test of time. Next time you are at Blockbuster, walk past the romantic comedies and explosive action movies and rent one of his. You may be surprised what you learn about yourself in the process.

---Claire Scheffer

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a pretty awesome director, Claire.
    haha. but i do loooove the breakfast club.