Friday, August 07, 2009

John Hughes, R.I.P.

We've lost one of the best storytellers.

Not only did John Hughes write some of the funniest movies of the 1980's, he might have written some of the most beloved characters in film. Period. I don't know how many times I've watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Or She's Having A Baby. Or The Breakfast Club. And I damn near died laughing...on many occassions...with Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

John Hughes made movies when we last all still went to the movie theatres.

I think he was as good a writer as Charles Dickens. And like Dickens he was able to represent how it felt to be a little too young or a little too oppressed to be quite able to live up to the responsibilities our society imposes on us. While making us laugh at our selves and fall in love with our selves. His movies are absolutely perfect. Only a month ago I happened to crawl under a big blanket on a Sunday afternoon and watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off and enjoy a classic Hughes set of prat falls, conflicted leading characters and a bulls-eye emotional pay off.

A John Hughes movie had it all. And he had it all in the communal setting of a theatre and the enduring memories of generations of us who could quote the best lines and dance like Molly Ringwald for a stunt. I don't know if I had a girl friend who wasn't in love with Judd Nelson.

Not only did Hughes create movie stars out of his casts he made Chicago a movie star. Almost all of his films were set in Chicagoland and it's hard not to spend time in Chicago and not run into a place, a house or location that has been made monumental and timeless by a Hughes mise en scene.

If you're at the rental store in the next few days...pick up Planes Trains and Automobiles and give yourslef a great big belly laugh. It's a genre-bending buddy flick and has a wonderful love story between John Candy and Steve many ways foreshadowing the bromances of Judd Apatow.

"Those aren't pillows"

A comedic tribute to John Hughes for an awards show in 1991.


SME said...

Holy crap, I didn't even know about this. Now I'm sad.

pjazzypar said...

Hey Candy, I am a huge fan of this man's work. Trains, Planes, and Automobiles still ranks in my top ten of comedy movies. John Candy was also the best. I would have liked to have seen a sequel just to see where the friendship in that movie would have went.

Candy Minx said...

SME, I was pretty sad too. One thing I didn't mention, but meant to in this post is how wonderful John Hughes soundtracks are and maybe as popular as his movies.

Pjazzypar, what a good example of an endearing character or relationship in art and literature...when we want to know what happened to the characters long after a book or movie has ended.

Malcolm said...

Very nice tribute. Your comparison of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" to the work of Judd Apatow is on the money.

One thing I'm grateful for when it comes to John Hughes is that he introduced me to the outstanding song "Mess Around" by Ray Charles. Every time I watch that scene from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", I crack up.

Candy Minx said...

Thanks Malcolm...Oh that part cracks me up to. I couldn't find the actual part where John Candy is singing "Mess Around"...but I found the consequences of his driving and singing here...

Candy Minx said...

Here is an amazing blog post...mindblowing!

And here I thought Hollywood killed John Candy was a Canadian conspiracy theory. It's good to know that Hughes was as good a person as he was a writer.