R.I.P., John Hughes
If you came of age in the 1980s, chances are you’ll be flooded with sadness at the sudden death of John Hughes. The director/screenwriter was 59 years old, and though he kept working up until the end (receiving credit under a pseudonym last year for his script for the abysmal Drillbit Taylor), he was some decades removed from the movies that made him a cultural icon. He ruled the landscape in the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean he was a great filmmaker. There was an unpleasant reactionary strain in The Breakfast Club, and the casual racism in Sixteen Candles doesn’t play well at all today. Cameron Crowe and Amy Heckerling made better, more perceptive movies about teenagers in Hughes’ time. Still, Hughes’ influence on his generation and on the teen movies that came after him is enormous, and he will be missed. If you’re looking for a way to pay tribute to him, you can simply use the word “geek,” which Hughes popularized in Sixteen Candles. Otherwise, go rent Some Kind of Wonderful (his best movie, in my estimation, with a luminescent performance by Mary Stuart Masterson) and reflect that his legacy lives on.