Saturday, August 08, 2009
John Hughes
When John Hughes died a few days ago, the memories of his films came flooding back. Just a few of my favorites are Sixteen Candles; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Ferris Bueller's Day Off; National Lampoon's Vacation; and Uncle Buck.

When Hughes wrote Pretty in Pink (directed by his friend Howard Deutsch) he had Molly Ringwald's character reject Andrew McCarthy (as most free-thinking humans would), but test audiences didn't like it, so the studio changed the ending. As soon as the film was finished he already had a script ready for Some Kind of Wonderful, which has the exact same plot as Pretty in Pink but the ending that Hughes wanted. He even hired the same director.

I think I like Some Kind of Wonderful a little more, mainly because Andrew McCarthy isn't in it. Andrew McCarthy may be the worst actor in the history of talking pictures. He has one acting move: Reacting to any conflict with a look of abject terror on his face. Can you imagine directing this clown?

"Andrew, your character is experiencing a minor inconvenience. Can you possibly NOT look like someone watching an elementary school burn to the ground?"

"Sorry dude...this is all I got."

"Okay, that's a wrap then. Let's break for lunch."

There was always talk of a sequel to The Breakfast Club. First they were all going to be in college, then as the years passed they were supposed to meet at a high school reunion (even though they were all in different grades, but whatever). If Hughes ever finished a script for The Breakfast Club 2: The Autumn Years they should make it in his honor.

Hughes spent his last years as kind of a recluse; he was last photographed in 2001 and stopped cutting his toenails 17 years ago. Ok, I made that last one up.

In closing, it is pretty obvious that I suck at writing memorials. Do I regret using the death of a talented writer as an excuse to rag on Andrew McCarthy? Of course not. Do I wish I had better articulated how John Hughes almost single-handedly changed the tone of teen films? Of course.


Blogger Ćœbermilf said...

I've seen snobbish backlash against Hughes. But "Breakfast Club" hit the nail on the head about how we adopt personae, how other people perceive us vs. how we really think and feel, and how frustrated authority figures turn into massive assholes. And high school is only the start of it all.

And Uncle Buck... I'm sorry, the axe in the trunk? With that high school weasel? One of my favorite scenes. He was threatening hipster douchebags back in the 80's via John Candy. You gotta love that.

Blogger foundinidaho said...

OMG, I forgot about Uncle Buck. That's a good one!

And, sadly, though I KNOW Andrew can't act, I wanted Pretty In Pink to have the ending it did. Apparently, I'm into vapid white guys who can't act. Must see a therapist about this.

Blogger True said...

I too am with you about Andrew McCarthy. He has the "Duh" look mastered.

I think I worked with a guy who looked a little like a mix of Andrew McCarthy and a younger Michael Keaton. He wasn't too slick either.

Blogger Johnny Yen said...

Hey, give Andrew McCarthy credit-- he has exactly one more emotion than robot actor Keanu Reeves is able to show.

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