Forgotten Fridays: John Hughes Tribute

Last week’s Forgotten Friday was going to be a John Hughes Film, but I couldn’t decide which one. So what I decided was to hit up all my favourites. So to break tradition… and the day. I give you an abbreviated version of the Forgotten Friday to pay tribute to the Bard of Teen Angst.

The Legendary John Hughes.

Uncle Buck (1989)

Staring: John Candy, Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffmann, Macaulay Culkin

Plot: John Candy is Uncle Buck, an unreliable slacker who is reluctantly left to watch after his sister’s kids while she leaves town.

The Heart: Uncle Buck teaches us that you can’t choose your family. Buck is the finest example about that crazy relative that makes you cringe to think about visiting. You just wish their visit would end as well as this movie.

TV, Rent or Buy? Buy!

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Staring: Steve Martin, John Candy

Plot: Neal Page (tightly wound ad exec) and Del Griffith, (The Director of Sales, American Light and Fixture, Shower Curtain Ring Division) become involuntary travelling partners. Problem is Del is utterly annoying. The impossible detour that stretches a couple hours of travelling into a multiple day road trip builds an unlikely friendship

The Heart: This is a like Uncle Buck except in this one Uncle Buck is even more annoying and not a reltative. Which sends the message that even those you DONT have to put up with can still be important.

TV, Rent or Buy? Buy!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Staring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey

Plot: Ferris Bueller is a carefree and insightful teenager who decides that he needs to take the day off of school. His partners in crime are his girlfriend Sloane and his best buddy (and hypocondriac) Cameron. Dodging a principal out to get him, and still cramming his day with as many adventures as possible Ferris breaks all the rules.

The Heart: If you haven’t seen this film yet, I don’t understand how you face the new day. Every morning when I get up I hear these words in my head (in Ferris’ voice) “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Every word that falls out of Ferris’ mouth is a gem of wisdom and there is no reason for anyone NOT to watch this movie.

TV, Rent or Buy? Buy!

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Staring: Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader, Andrew McCarthy

Plot: A girl from the wrong side of the tracks, a geeky new-waver who worships her, a rich High School Hunk who has her eye. This is the tale of the poor girl challenging the rich-vs-poor social heirarchy for the sake of love.

The Heart: I was this movie. More accurately I was Duckie. Sure my wardrobe wasn’t as “out there” but I was that loyal friend who watched the girl get away. The second best soundtrack of the 80s and Molly is also responsible for my obsession with redheads. Just sayin.

TV, Rent or Buy? Buy it!

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Staring: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson, Craig Sheffer

Plot: Keith, the quiet high school nobody has a crush on the hottest girl in school (who is dating the hottest guy in school), and his best friend (the attitude laced rocking tomboy who is secretly in love with him) tries to help him get the girl.

The Heart: This movie is basically a role reversal of Pretty in Pink with not as good of a soundtrack and an ending that is the opposite. But there is enough different that its not the same film.

TV, Rent or Buy? Rent

Couldn’t find the trailer to embed so Click here to see it

Weird Science (1985)

Staring: Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Robert Downey Jr.

Plot: Two geeky losers decide to create the perfect woman on their computer in hopes of earning them social acceptance and popularity. What they do create is far more than perfect.

The Heart: The ultimate underdog story. Every outcast wishes he could be popular, and this spells out why you don’t. The geeks find their own place to fit in and get to take a shower with Kelly LeBrock in the process.

TV, Rent or Buy? Buy.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Staring: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Plot: Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

The Heart: With some small exceptions this whole movie was filmed in a highschool library (and a few surrounding hallways) and has the best soundtrack which tops anything in any 80s film. This should be an annual required viewing by all teenagers in highschool just so they get a hint of what’s really going on in their social groups. It won’t change anything but if it means half as much to them as it did me, it would change the world. Everyone sees a little of themselves in one of these characters. As usual, I was Anthony Michael Hall.

TV, Rent or Buy?Buy. Twice.

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Staring: Molly Ringwald, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling, Gedde Watanabe, Anthony Michael Hall

Plot: A young girl’s “sweet sixteenth” birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. It falls on her sister’s wedding day, and her entire family forgets it is her birthday.

The Heart: So much goes on in this movie, and poor Molly anticipates her coming of age to be more momentous as she discovers that she is responsible for her own happiness. She struggles just to keep a smile on her face, but discovers more about herself and gets the boy in the end.

TV, Rent or Buy? Rent

National Lampoon’sVacation (1983)

Staring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron

Plot: The Griswold family’s cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

The Heart: Learning to love your family is a thing that takes time. Vacation just illustrates how good of a time you can have while doing it. When it really comes down to it the Griswold’s stick together. The subsequent sequels were not as good, but still fun and worth a viewing.

TV, Rent or Buy? Rent

Mr. Mom (1983)

Staring:Michael Keaton, Teri Garr, Frederick Koehle, Taliesin Jaffe, Martin Mull

Plot: Jack and Caroline are a couple making a decent living When Jack suddenly loses his job. They agree that Caroline would return to work while Jack would take over the homemaking duties.

The Heart: This is worth a watch just to see what gender roles in the early 80s were really like (and somewhat still are). We all thought Teri Garr was so hot that she was going to be a superstar after this. Switching roles was the perfect recipe for laughs (Wife adapts to work easily enough while the man is useless at home) and Michael Keaton plays the clueless daddy perfectly.

TV, Rent or Buy? Rent

All in all John Hughes films taught me much about life.

You cant choose your family. People matter. You can be a geek and get the girl. Dad can do housework. There is no reason for social classes in highschool. You are responsible for your own happiness. Sometimes your best friend is where you will find love.

Lastly, I wanted to share the trailer for a documentary about finding John Hughes after he disappeared from film for a time. “Don’t You Forget about Me”

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11 thoughts on “Forgotten Fridays: John Hughes Tribute

  1. I was in my early teens and grew up with these classic movies.
    It was all about being different, about geeks vs preppies, computers, teen angst, and sexy girls.
    Here is a tribute I did to the Howard Hughes movies that changed my life growing up.
    My favourites i put on my site at previewfilms

    Ferris Bueller’s Day off
    Breakfast Club
    Weird Science
    Pretty in Pink
    Sixteen Candles

  2. Great choices EXCEPT that She’s Having A Baby is missing. The scene where his wife is on the delivery table and he’s having flashbacks while Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” is playing…makes me cry everytime. Maybe it’s too girly for you though…LOL

  3. “More accurately I was Duckie”

    For some unknown reason, I can kind of see you dancing and lip synching to Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness….


    “Rent” Mr. Mom? I agree- until a widescreen version is put out, and not the barebones pan n scan.

    “Rent” Vacation? Are you nuts?

    “Renr” Sixteen Candles? Are you really nuts?

    “Buy” Ferris Beuller? I’d much rather buy the previous two. I never liked Ferris at all, and I was already into the band known as Yello at the time..*(“Oh yeah!”) but even that didn’t do anything for me. Granted, a young Ben Stien made a “good” bizarre teacher…and I liked Mia Sara’s legs. But I would not even rent this. I avoid it when I can. I hated the movie overall then, I still despise it now. No, I’m not nuts. My shrink told me so.

    All the rest are great stuff. However, due to these infractions, I hereby sentence you to a mandatory 6 hour marathon of Baby’s Day Out.

  4. God I LOVED Uncle Buck back in the day. That was a good movie and I also loved Rerris Bueller’s Day off. Michael Keaton was good in Mr. Mom…what ever happened to his star? He was good in Beetlejuice and great in TV movie Live From Baghdad, but where the f(^@ is he now?

  5. I’m not much of a fan of his film, but of those I would have to say I like Ferris Buller’s Day off, Plain Trains and Automobiles, The Breakfast Club would have to be my favorite, and my parents just love watching Uncle Buck.

  6. I just love that scene in Kevin Smith’s Dogma where Jay talks about how because of Silent Bob’s love of John Hughs movies led them to go to the town of Sermer from the movies. Only to find out the town doesnt even exist. “Hollywood is so fake.”

  7. i would have to say all those films are buys except for some kind of wonderful and sixteen candles (though if you where a female i could totally see why you would buy it).

    great piece …. hughes will be forever remembered as the master of cult teen movies of the 80’s

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