The passing of John Hughes is my Michael Jackson moment.  In my opinion, three weeks of full-on news coverage of his death would be appropriate.  I want to see Long Duk Dong on CNN explaining how Mr. Hughes brought attention to the slave trade/foreign exchange student situation of the 1980’s, the true agenda of the movie Sixteen Candles.

That’s my favorite of all of his work.  Just watched it last night.  Aside from a couple of uses of the word “fag” and “faggot” as insults, the movie is perfection.  What I like most about his work is that he championed the misfit, and really made it clear that everyone feels the isolation that is usually only acknowledged/accepted in the teenage years of our existence.

bclub.jpgI was pretty young when Hughes unleashed the Holy Trinity of the 80’s (Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club, respectively), but it still resonated with me and my friends.  We wanted to be John Bender from the Club so badly that we invented a neighborhood game based on the movie. If you want to play in tribute of Hughes, here’s how:

- find the friend with the biggest house

- use front porch as the library/detention

- to avoid arguments, randomly draw characters from a hat (geek, jock, criminal, principal, whatever Ally Sheedy was)

- you can only use movie quotes that involve cursing

The Principal just walks around the house aimlessly, while the others “sneak out” from the porch from time to time.  It was really fun when I was 10.  I bet the game holds up today.  Post a Comment if you play with friends.  Bonus points if you videotape it and upload to YouTube.

ferris.jpgFerris Bueller’s Day Off, I remember seeing that in the theater with friends.    The movie came out about a year before I was diagnosed with HIV, and it must have influenced me to use my HIV status as a reason to stay home from school.  Thank you, John Hughes, for that.  Of course, I drew the line at stealing a friend’s dad’s car.  But only because I was 12.

The “Save Ferris” campaign in the movie still cracks me up.  I could have made so much lunch money if I’d been out about my status in junior high school.

It’s tough to make teen movies that stand the test of time, but John Hughes managed to pull it off.  At 34 I enjoy them just as much- if not more so- than I did on first viewing.  Sure, he made some crappy movies, but that was intentional- Hughes just wanted to show he was human.  I was saddened by the news of his passing because of my sentimental connection to his work, but was happy to read that he’d spent the better part of the last decade with his family.

He took Ferris’ advice about life moving pretty fast, and slowed down to take a look around. 

Good for him.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

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