Wednesday, August 12, 2009
John Hughes "got" Gen X
I've been meaning to write something about John Hughes. As a kid, he was my favorite director (and yes, I did have favorite directors as a kid - I had this thing about movies from the time I saw the movie Nine to Five.) His death is really the end of an era.
John Hughes wrote and directed movies about Gen X teenagers in which the kids were smart. The dialog was unique, because it really reflected the way Xers spoke at the time. We talked like adults - but we reasoned like teenagers. Before Hughes came along, most movies about my generation portrayed us as being possessed by the devil (either literally in movies like The Exorcist or figuratively in movies like Over the Edge - which is this awesomely hilarious movie with Matt Dillon where all the suburban teens are sent off to juvey.)
When I was in junior high school, my mom took me to see The Breakfast Club. People always are shocked that my mom had to take me, because everyone forgets that the movie was rated R. That film hit a nerve with me, because it was so spot on. I don't think you see teenagers portrayed that "real" anymore.
However, my favorite Hughes movie of all time was Sixteen Candles. I still quote from it (what's a-happening hot stuff?). I'd like to say that I identified with the Samantha character, but frankly, I was more like Farmer Ted.
Goodbye John Hughes. Thank you for being one of the first Boomers to "get" us. Thanks to you, there will be some proof to future generations that Gen Xers were not all "possessed" as teenagers.