Friday, 7 August 2009
R.I.P John Hughes
I still sometimes find it hard to comprehend how Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, The Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Weird Science and Home Alone were all written by the same man. John Hughes! How did he do it? I would wager most writers would have to write for years before making a film on par with Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The fact that he not only did that, but then went on to write a plethora of other incredible films may explain why when I was growing up, our VCR would rarely not have a John Hughes videotape inside it. Like most people my age, my first exposure to John Hughes was Home Alone. My father, who was a big fan of the guy, then started to introduce me to his back catalogue, starting with Planes, Trains and Automobiles (which was an edited version recorded off the telly. The amazing scene where Steve Martin goes nuts at the rental car lady - "I want a fucking car right fucking now" - was sadly omitted from this version) and then Uncle Buck. Soon I began to realise that any film which had the name John Hughes in the credits was bound to take a spot on my ever-growing favourite film list. His films are steeped in nostalgia for me. Whenever I watch one of them, wherever I may be, I still feel like I'm a kid again lying on the carpet of our front room watching them on our old TV. So I was pretty upset to hear that John had passed away yesterday. Although he's been absent from writing for a few years now, there was always hope he would make another film. The fact that we will never see another John Hughes picture is a real shame. He will be missed. I don't really know how to end this post well, so I'll take a leaf out of John's book and ask you to just picture me getting up from my desk, walking across a football field and raising my fist in the air as Simple Minds play in the background. I defy anyone to call that a bad ending. Thanks John!