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… You’re my hero

August 8, 2009

Ask me what my dream day out is, and my mind immediately and inevitably turns to a vision of adventure – me and my friends, driving a red Ferrari, going to an art gallery, a fancy lunch, a baseball game, the stock exchange, a swimming pool, and, of course, Twisting and Shouting in a parade. All done while I’m meant to be in school/work, a day that snatches me away from the daily grind and reminds me that life is for living. In other words, my mind turns to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Best day off ever

This daydream is a gift John Hughes has given me. Yesterday I was surprised by how much the news of his death affected me. I don’t know much about the man himself, just that he made great movies, and eventually retreated from the Hollywood machine (If you want to read a beautiful, personal account of a fan’s correspondence with John Hughes, I highly recommend this). His movies were all simple stories, but so well told, with characters that seemed genuine, not just the vapid glossy kids that fill most teen movies. I was too young to see them when they first came out, but they were the golden stuff of many a tween/teen movie night – first Home Alone, then The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. It wasn’t till earlier this year I saw Pretty in Pink, and it was brilliant. Molly Ringwald was so freaking fabulous, although it broke my heart to see her cut up that pretty prom dress and make that hideous sack. Oh well. At least Duckie was a sharp dresser.

But my heart belongs to Ferris, Cameron and Sloane (truly the coolest girl in school). It’s a movie I’ve seen so many times, with friends, with family, while home sick sitting under the covers, in the background while I’m doing my homework or cleaning the house. It’s the film that showed me I wasn’t the only one feeling like I was drowning in the mind-numbing tedium of school, and that authority figures do not always deserve their authority, and are not entitled to my respect just because of their position. It’s one of the first (if not the first) films that taught me to stick it to the man (especially if that man is as inept a pig as Rooney). It taught me that although I am more of a Cameron, I must try to be more of a Ferris, to be bold and take chances whenever they present themselves, because “life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

I guess what I mean to say, and what I think most of us know, is that John Hughes didn’t just make movies to be consumed and forgotten until the next one. He made them because he really got what teens were like, he cared about them and he treated his characters with love and respect. And so we loved them, because they were real, and they were our friends.

I guess what I mean to say is, thanks John Hughes.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2009 7:52 pm

    That was beautiful and so true. I’m sorry I’ve got your copy of Ferris at the moment! It’s a perfect movie.

  2. August 9, 2009 9:15 am

    Yes, Exactly.

  3. August 9, 2009 11:14 am

    Great post – Just subscriped to your RSS feed.. Thanks

  4. August 17, 2009 10:33 pm

    This is just a great post, you have conveyed your thoughts, feelings and responses to John Hughes wondrous work just so eloquently…

    In doing so you have made me realise all the things that growing up with his movies has meant to me. Thanks so much for the reminder…

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