lovehate: John Hughes - The 80's Shakespeare

"Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place."
- John Bender (The Breakfast Club)

Upon the passing of John Hughes, who most of us remember as a director, it behooves us to think back to his writing output that extended up until 2008. Hughes only directed eight films, including many 80's teen classics, and even though many of his scripts could be deemed silly, populist, or juvenile, there was an undeniable ability to tell a story and reach niche audiences.

As you peruse the following list, there are certainly some films that you may regard as "stinkers", but you'll have heard of almost all of them if you are a fan of Hollywood productions.

I know that John Hughes is not often referred to in the canon of great directors or Hollywood writers, but his are some of the most loved stories of a generation. He was master of the youth archetype. He married contemporary music with interwoven plot. His characters exuded fun, angst, and shared in conclusions of poetic justice. I daresay that had I the energy or inclination, I could draw parallels between Hughes' plots and The Bard.

John Bender as the tough guy with a heart of gold. Samantha Baker as the tortured teen who's fantasies come true. Gary Wallace as the quintessential 80's tech geek. Ferris Bueller as the untouchable Puck who we all wanted to be.

He inspired us to fight authority, have fun, be individualistic and fight for what believed in. He was an icon of pop culture and there was a time when his name attached to a film meant, at the very least, an entertaining character-driven romp.

We'll miss you Mr. Hughes. I can think of no better eulogy than the contemplation of the following:


Drillbit Taylor (2008)
Beethoven's 5th (2003) (V)
Maid in Manhattan (2002)
Home Alone 4 (2002) (TV)
Beethoven's 4th (2001) (V)
Beethoven's 3rd (2000) (V)
American Adventure (2000) (TV)
Reach the Rock (1998)
Home Alone 3 (1997)
Flubber (1997)
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Baby's Day Out (1994)
Beethoven's 2nd (1993)
Dennis the Menace (1993)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

...and the decade we'll all remember...

Beethoven (1992)
Curly Sue (1991)
Dutch (1991)
Career Opportunities (1991)
Home Alone (1990)
Christmas Vacation (1989)
Uncle Buck (1989)
The Great Outdoors (1988)
She's Having a Baby (1988)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Weird Science (1985)
European Vacation (1985)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Nate and Hayes (1983)
Vacation (1983)
Mr. Mom (1983)
Class Reunion (1982)