It was rather prophetic that "Ferris Buellers' Day Off" was just on cable the other night. I was still marveling over it as if it was the premiere showing as I watched it with Elijah. He wasn't enjoying it near as much because he just couldn't appreciate the genius that was John Hughes. Now John's movies are what we have left of him.
Acclaimed director John Hughes died of a heart attack while taking a morning walk in Manhattan today. He was only 59-years-old.
Hughes undoubtedly helped to make the 80s one of the most memorable decades ever for comedies. Most importantly for the teenage angst ones. Granted, the teenage angst wasn't nearly as gruff and dark as it is now, but his version was clearly much more palatable and more entertaining. He had a knack for making those high school movies that mimicked our very own high school lives. Not that the entire movie was, but he always had those characters that had traits we could relate to. "The Breakfast Club" was the perfect example of that.
If that wasn't good enough, Hughes knew how to make a movie that explored the adventures we all wanted to do. No matter how improbable it was, it would be something that we all had thought about doing. Especially at the high school age when our imaginations wandered. Of course we couldn't create the dream girl with a computer (a la "Weird Science"), especially with the tepid technology of the era, but who wouldn't want to try? On the other hand, we could skip school for a day like Ferris, we just wished our excursion would be near as amazing.
But it was more than just the high school films for which he would become most renown for. He flat out ruled the 80s with a litany of flicks that were for everyone. His resume is an impressive one that any director would kill to have. For a solid decade, he couldn't miss. It was more than just the fact that he was making good movies. He was churning out CLASSICS. "Mr. Mom"..."Vacation"..."Planes, Trains and Automobiles"..."Pretty in Pink"...Hughes just could do no wrong. Well, almost. He was the same cat that gave us the awful "European Vacation". However, that's a still an extremely incredible batting average.
There were rumblings there for a minute there a few years back that a "Sixteen Candles" sequel was in the works. I'm glad that never came to fruition. That's just one more legendary Hughes' product that can stay preserved so that our 80s movie time capsule remains untouchable. Even if Hughes best work was nearly 20 years behind him, he had already left us with so much timeless entertainment that we remain eternally grateful.
Rest in peace, John.