This is a hard one for me to write.
And I’m sure there are a lot of other bloggers writing better entries than me.
There’s one right here. You should read it.
I’ll try to be brief: for me, that is tough.
I used to be a film critic, a long, long time ago. Not a very read one, but I still did it. And even though I skew towards my foreign faves, my indie picks, my headdesk “what where you thinking Tanya?” chinscratchers, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for John Hughes’ movies.
Not necessarily for his main characters, his protagonists, but those supporting characters, the ones floating around the edges of his movies, the peripheral people who I identified with far more than the heroines, the heros, the ne’er do wells like Ferris Bueller.
I will tell you right now, Ferris is my favorite Hughes film. I don’t know why. I didn’t see it in the theatre, I first watched it while I was babysitting one night in college, on HBO. And I fell in love with Cameron. Let my Cameron go. Alan Ruck broke my heart a little, and I think I always will have a soft spot in my heart for boys (and men) like Cameron.
And we’ll always have Abe Froman, the sausage king of Chicago.
I love Jennifer Grey’s bitchy Jeanie, and I think Charlie Sheen has never been so perfect in his career as the pale-faced tough object of her affection. I love the vision of Chicago in this, and all of Hughes’ movies, and even though it’s candy-coated, it remains a city I so long to see, thanks to him.
No one looked so forward to Pretty in Pink as me. I mean, come ON – my dorm room was painted pink! I went with my (first) college boyfriend, 10 years older than me and in a band. I was dressed to the hilt in my thrift-store chic, which I had been doing for years, and been ridiculed for in high school. It wasn’t the movie I wanted it to be, but then, how could it be? SHE PICKED THE WRONG GUY!
But I will forever laugh at James Spader’s hysterical line readings — he was like the ghost of prom’s past, a 40-year-old louche asshole trapped in the body of…a 40-year-old louche asshole.
And who wouldn’t want Harry Dean Stanton for a dad? I sure did. By that time, I had seen Paris, Texas and Repo Man too many times to count. But sadly, the reality is seldom as pleasing as the fantasy. I speak from experience.
But it was Annie Potts’ Iona…oh, Iona, how I wanted to grow up and BE you, with your cool-ass record store, your revolving door ensembles – one day, a dominatrix in rubber, the next, a 40s era siren in a snood. When you grew up a little at the end and started dating a “yappie,” I died inside. Why couldn’t you stay the same?
I went to see The Breakfast Club in high school, with my best friend. We no longer speak, we haven’t, for over 10 years. I don’t know where he is now, but I’ve heard tales. Back then, he was a closeted gay boy, and we had a bond that seemed like it would forever be unbroken. Although I didn’t love that movie, it made me feel like less of an outcast. And I thanked that little movie for it.
As I got older, and continued thru college, I saw Some Kind of Wonderful. A great movie? No. But as always, with Hughes, the soundtracks were kickin’. Thanks to that one, which I still have, I was introduced to flash in the pan glam-gothers Flesh for Lulu. Loved them. Met them, wearing this shirt (which I artfully remade), and which I still have. They were the sweetest guys. A memory I will treasure forever.
My favorite character from that movie? It has to be Elias Koteas’ Duncan…and you know, he is Canadian.
At that time in my life, I was attracted to the strong, silent, scary type. Oh yes….
And as we got older and all aged, there was She’s Having a Baby. I worship Alec Baldwin as the uncontrolled voice of the id in this one, and if you love you some Alec Baldwin, he certainly did have that young ‘n hot ‘n furry look.
There was the priceless scene with the cow creamer, or “udder buddy,” if you will. An old friend and I lived off that one for years, until she gifted me with one for a housewarming present.
So in a way, these movies have infused my life with…something. Something intangible. I think, we he was working on all cylinders, Hughes’ had a simple message: It’s hard out there, and it’s even harder to be yourself. Some people can do it, some people can’t. But you really SHOULD.
I’ve tried to do that all my life, and the results have been…mixed. But worth it, in the end. I think John Hughes’ decision to leave Hollywood was, in the end, a noble one. And it’s pretty damned sad that the “Summer of Death March 2009” has to keep marching on.
A tough year, this one….