Last night I went to see Tron Legacy, a sequel to a movie that came out almost 20 years ago and used to be in high rotation on The Disney Channel. Then, today as I was reading Don't You Forget About Me, one of the authors mentioned the much talked about idea of a John Hughes teen movie sequel. All of this got me thinking about sequels to movies we loved as children, and sequels to movies that just had no place with having a sequel. Sometimes, these sequels work, sometimes they go horribly wrong *cough*The Matrix*cough*.
Tron Legacy was pretty darn awesome. It needed some more editing, and was a bit slow in parts, but at least it made sense and had some real soul to it. Growing up in the 80's I was well aware of the first Tron movie, although I was not a big fan. I didn't dislike it, just wasn't a big fan. So, I may be more forgiving of the sequel then someone who is a big fan of the movie. All in all though, it was a sequel that can mostly stand on its own, and adds to an already established story.
Then, along the lines of sequels that should have never been is Clerks 2. Really, who heard of that movie the first time and thought "Yeah this is going to work!" I certainly didn't. But, as info kept coming about the movie I did get more excited about it. I was at the theatre opening weekend ready to enjoy more Randell and Dante time. And you know what? The movie was AWESOME! I laughed, I cried, I almost threw up. Seriously, it was just all levels of awesome rolled into some awesome sauce and put on an awesome bun. I never thought it could be that successful though. I was pleasantly surprised.
This brings me to the essay in Don't You Forget About Me, and the talk of any number of John Hughes sequels (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris....). I really don't think any of those sequels would work. I don't want to see Samantha Baker older and not married to Jake Ryan, and I am not sure I want to see her older and married to Jake Ryan. I don't want to know for sure what happened to Ducky, or if John Bender made a life of crime or turned himself around, if Allison ended up ODing in her 20's, if Bryan ended up actually killing himself in college due to stress put on him by his parents. I just don't want to know. Why? John Hughes teen movies are all about the moment and the possibility of the future. I don't want to know why Ducky is happy, I just want to pretend that he is. I want to think that he found a girl he could be devoted to, who was just as much in love with him, and that he continued to be his Classic Soul loving, quirky self, on into his adult life.
Maybe I don't want to know for sure what happened to John Hughes characters because I don't want to know exactly what has happened to me. I don't want to think that my life is set, that I can't still change, that I don't still have that magical possibility that is at the end of Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles.