It started for me with Mr. Mom--I know it's not quintessential John Hughes, but it was funny and it had kids in it. Besides Kramer vs. Kramer, it's the first movie I remember that had a working mom. My mom worked and much of our lives revolved around my little sister's woobie. Mr. Mom resonated. Plus, drying a baby bum with a hand drier--Like I suppose you've ever seen anything funnier.
Family is always important in John Hughes movies, especially bumbling imperfect ones. That was a big deal to me and to every tween or teen because we all think our families are bumbling and imperfect. For example, I recently heard my daughter speaking of me in hushed tones to her friend explaining that I didn't go to girls camp with the other leaders because I get really bad headaches and can't go. They didn't even need me to go! I didn't stay home because of my headaches. She thinks she has to make excuses for me. Sad. (But, I do get bad migraines so don't ask me to do anything.)
I grew up with all the other John Hughes movies: 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful. We rented those movies but I remember seeing Ferris Bueller's Day Off in the theater. And I had my first post-modern moment when Ferris acknowledged that he was in a movie and we were in the audience and told us to go home after the credits ran. Remember last season when Lost's innovation with narrative blew us away by flashing forward instead of back? It was a little like that. Hughes' characters are the first I remember that were self-aware of that 4th wall--Brian and Duckie sometimes looked right at the camera. We were in on the joke with those geeks. That might be what primed us to accept Bill Gates and is probably why those of us who grew up on John Hughes love Apple so much.
I wouldn't say I grew up poor, but I hated richies. John Hughes taught me that it's ok to hate richies and also to have secret crushes on them and also that richies have feelings too. But most of all John Hughes taught me that some richies are simply jerks.
Before I get stymied by teenage angst, let's move on--as John Hughes did through all the stages of our lives. She's Having a Baby was a really wonderful movie. Who didn't rent it when they were pregnant with their first baby to horrify their husbands and make them love us more?
Guys, I'm as big a fan of the cancer dance on So You Think You Can Dance as the next sucker. But Tyce Diorio took advantage of my feelings for John Hughes. And that I resent.
He sure could throw a soundtrack together, no?