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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What’s your favorite John Hughes movie or movie moment?

Film writer-director-producer John Hughes died yesterday, of a sudden heart attack in New York, where he was visiting. He was only 59.

I am precisely the right age to have felt as if Hughes was speaking directly to me with his teen-angst comedies in the 1980s. (Which Breakfast Club character was I? I’d have been somewhere between Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall.) So it feels a little bit like a part of my childhood has gone with him. I always wondered whether he might revisit our generation, make a movie about us today — if he was so inspired by people of our age back in the 80s, mightn’t he have been so again now, in our 40s? It’ll never happen now.
What’s your favorite John Hughes movie or movie moment? His complete filmography is here, if you need a refresher on all the many movies he had a hand in.

Mine would be Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which I still believe is the best movie about Gen X as teens ever made. I don’t know if I could pick out a single moment as my favorite — I love the whole film.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • Sandy

    Whoa – he wrote Nate & Hayes? I love that movie! But my favorite John Hughes movie has to be Some Kind of Wonderful because I identified w/ Watts who was a fairly hardcore Tomboy. And she didn’t have to become a girly girl to get the guy!

  • JT

    Favorite movie: The Breakfast Club.

    Favorite moments: pretty much all of John Hughes’ musical moments are amazing. Certainly better than Cameron Crowe’s.

    Ferris Bueller – Twist and Shout

    Pretty in Pink – Try a Little Tenderness

    The Breakfast Club – We Are Not Alone

  • t6


    That is a hard one.

    16 Candles has offensive Long Duck Dong.
    Breakfast Club has the Ally Sheedy makeover.
    Some Kind of Wonderful…Watts deserved way better than Eric Stoltz
    Pretty in Pink…hm…okay I suppose.
    Weird Science? The whole plot grosses me out.
    Ferris Beuler has the character Ferris Beuler and his very existence offends me.

    Maybe the Breakfast Club if I ignore the Ally Sheedy makeover.

  • Jester

    She’s Having a Baby. And I don’t even have kids.

    But it perfectly captured the early 90s Gen Xer panic about jobs, family, career, dating and marriage, friends, etc etc etc. And of course, all the classic John Hughes themes are in attendance, from “class divide” all the way down to “goofball slapstick”. Criminally, criminally under-rated flick.

    My favorite single moment in the movie falls in the latter category, when Kevin Bacon’s character finds out his wife has been skipping her birth control without telling him. Instant flash to his character riding a Wile E. Coyote rocket sled toward a cement barricade. Love that scene! I laugh every time I see it.

  • Everything I ever needed to know about politics I learned from Ferris Bueller.

    Not that I condone fascism, or any ism for that matter. Isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus, but I’d still have to bum rides off of people.

    If I may suggest, a review of Hughes’ set of films from the 1980s-early 90s reflect a belief in benevolent chaos, anarchy without teeth, rebellion not of viciousness but a need for self-expression. It’s the only way to watch Weird Science and not think it’s a formless mass of half-baked craziness. :)

  • CoriAnn

    Man, I can’t even tell you how many times I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as a kid. We literally wore out the package of our VHS copy–it completely disintegrated. Then I got into high school and it was 16 Candles. Those two movies will forever and always be two of my favorite film experiences from growing up. I don’t think I could even begin to pick out one singular moment though.

  • amanohyo

    My favorite moment is when Ally Sheedy decides to go out with Anthony Michael Hall instead of dull Emilio Estevez… wait, that only happened in my imagination. Hmmm… you know, I’m an asian guy, but I actually think my favorite “moment” is when Long Duck Dong ends up “befriending” Marlene. I had seen and continue to see plenty of white dudes in relationships with asian women, but it was very encouraging as young boy to see Gedde Watanabe involved in an (admittedly ridiculous) interracial romance.

    I understand that his character was offensive to many (the gong sound in some of his scenes is a bit much); however, speaking only for myself, I thought Dong was hilarious and maybe even a little inspirational. Sure, I had Jonathan Ke Quan, Ernie Reyes Jr., and Pat Morita to look up to as well, but Gedde was the only well-known contemporary asian actor in the 80’s who actually “got the girl”… well, er got a girl I guess. He was a stereotype, but he was still better than nothing back in my elementary school days. Thanks for creating him Mr. Hughes.

  • I would have to agree with MJ on picking Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s the only Hughes film I have rewatched in this century. I suppose I’d have to have a look at some of his other output from the ’80s (as his stuff in the ’90s was just pure rubbish!) I was pleasantly suprised to see that he wrote a lot of the the Animal House spin-off series Delta House – and I enjoyed that as a young lad when it was on.

    I would say that the ’80s died with John Hughes this week.

  • My two favorite “teen” movies from the 1980s are John Sayles’ Baby, It’s You and Hal Hartley’s The Unbelievable Truth so I’d better take the Fifth on this question…

  • Paul

    Yeah, I had the same emotional quibble with the ending of the Breakfast Club, but that’s life.

    Maybe that’s why “Bueller” is so appealing. It is so unreal, or would that be surreal?

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