On my way to work this morning, my mind drifted off thinking about the beautiful sunshine out and how the day was all fresh with possibility, and how I am kinda anxious with a sorta new boyfriend, and all this kind of stuff makes me feel younger, almost like a teen again. And whenever I think of those teen years, I can't help but think of a man who helped shape them: John Hughes. Now, I never met him, sent him a fan letter, nothing. But, I grew up on his movies.
The first time I can think of hearing a Beatles' song was on Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I had a crush on Wyatt on Weird Science. I remember standing with my friend (and our baby-sitter) in the cold to watch Home Alone. Christmas Vacation is a staple in my family during the holidays.
The movie where I really clicked with Hughes though is The Breakfast Club. I still remember the very first time I watched it, and how much that movie instantly mattered to me. My friends and I spent a good amount of time in my parents' basement as teens. I guess we were the "Foreman House" per say, except my friends and I didn't sit around a table and smoke pot, we mostly sat around the TV and drank our selves high on sugared up pop. The basement is also where the computer was, and on the night I first saw The Breakfast Club I was working on a big assignment that I'd of course put off until the very last minute.
I know I had the TV on for background noise, and movies were playing on TBS I believe. I heard the opening music, and of course the speech, and I was hooked into The Breakfast Club. I was riveted as the characters each entered the Saturday detention on their own, with their own problems, and in their own world. I believed them as they slowly started to open up and become vulnerable with one another. I ached to have something like that happen to me, and at the end of the movie I cried. The next day I told my boyfriend that he *had* to watch this movie! And I've since re-watched The Breakfast Club a number of times, although none will be as important to me as that first time on TV even with all the "bad" parts taken out.
Since his death, I've heard many actors say that John Hughes never fully grew up. That he always could relate to the children and teens he worked with. And I think that comes through in his movies. I think the reason his movies resonate so well with me, and many others, is that they speak to that child/tween/teen that's still in all of us.