If you were raised at all in the 80s or into the early 90s, you were dealt a bit of a blow today with the sudden passing of John Hughes at the age of 59 from a heart attack.
Yeah, I know that everybody in the world is talking about this already. It's been Twittified to the ends of the Earth and back. But I don't care. I'm talking about it anyway. And if you don't want to read it, then move on. Nobody's forcing you to stay.
For those of you still with me... thanks.
John Hughes was a big deal to a great number of us. He wrote, produced, and directed some of seminal films of our life. Just to name a few of the ones that might help set the stage: The Breakfast Club; Sixteen Candles; Weird Science; Ferris Bueller's Day Off; Home Alone; Some Kind of Wonderful; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; National Lampoon's Vacation (and the European and Christmas varietals as well); Uncle Buck; The Great Outdoors; Pretty in Pink...
You get the picture?
And that list only scratches the surface.
The man told stories from the heart. They were funny, they were painful, they were silly, they left you heartbroken. But, most importantly, they were real. Sure, you might look at that list and think, "what the hell are you talking about, Kevin?" But look beyond the surface. There was somebody or some event in each and every one of those films that you related to, that defined who you were and who you are.
And what made John Hughes so great was that, despite how you viewed yourself or what similar situations you found yourself in, he let you know it was okay. You could be the jock, the nerd, the wastoid, the punk, the princess, the slacker, the overachiever. It didn't matter. To John, everyone had some kind of redeeming value and that's why he took such care in crafting his characters.
Those of us who grew up watching his films learned about love and hate and pain and fear and joy and sorrow and, well, life.
Sure, you won't see any of John's films on the AFI100 lists. But his legacy is much greater. He made us human. And his films will be with many of us in our hearts forever. What greater legacy could you ask for?
Even you naysayers cannot deny the impact he had on our generation.
To John Hughes, rest in peace.
On a side note, I'd like to personally thank you for Mary Stuart Masterson in fringed, fingerless gloves playing the drums. *sigh*
Oh, and if some dude named Avitable comes asking for an interview, run.
I gotta thank Rory for this little montage he shared on Google Reader. It's good times.