Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Ten Favorite John Hughes Films

Being a child of the 80s, I grew up watching John Hughes movies. John Hughes was best known for his hilarious glimpses into the lives of high school students. His stories often cover  a very short period in time; for example, spending an entire Saturday morning in detention, a single day skipping school, or a weekend with the parents out of town.

Here are my top ten favorite John Hughes films (in no particular order):

10. She's having a Baby

The film portrays a young newlywed couple, Kristy and Jake Briggs played by Elizabeth McGovern and Kevin Bacon, who try to cope with being married and what is expected of them by their parents. Jake must also deal with the fantasy woman of his dreams. The film is about traditional 1980s suburban life and the cultural expectations that come along with it. To a large extent what Jake experiences could be described as a form of culture shock, with his best man Davis (Alec Baldwin) as a reminder of his former culture as a single man, and feeling alienated when he overhears his neighbors converse about mundane suburban topics. He feels he has left the culture of single men, and has entered the culture of a married man, and doesn't appear to have a sense of belonging to either.

And in the end, I realized that I took more than I gave, I was trusted more than I trusted, and I was loved more than I loved. And what I was looking for was not to be found but to be made.

9. Vacation

 Clark Griswold (Chase), wanting to spend more time with his wife Ellen (D'Angelo) and children Rusty and Audrey (Hall and Barron), decides to lead the family on a cross-country expedition from Chicago to the Los Angeles amusement park "Walley World", billed as "America's Favorite Family Fun Park". Although Ellen wants to fly, Clark insists on driving, so he can bond with his family. In preparation, he has ordered a new sports wagon for the trip, but when the dealer pulls a bait-and-switch, insisting the sports wagon won't be ready for 6 weeks, Clark is forced to take a failing behemoth Wagon Queen Family Truckster.

As the family travels, they have several mishaps, such as being tagged by vandals while in a rundown part of St. Louis, while Clark is tempted several times by an attractive young woman (Brinkley) driving a flashy red Ferrari 308 GTS. They stop in Coolidge, Kansas to visit Ellen's cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her husband Eddie (Quaid), but this creates more tension among the Griswolds. Catherine and Eddie foist crotchety old Aunt Edna (Coca) and her dog Dinky on the Griswolds, asking them to drop her off at her son Normy's home in Phoenix. After stopping at a campground in South Fork, Colorado for the night, Clark forgets to untie Dinky from the car's bumper before leaving, killing the dog.
While Ellen and Clark argue, they become stranded in the desert, and Clark eventually finds a mechanic that scams him out of the rest of his cash to fix the car. Frustrated, they stop at the Grand Canyon; when Clark cannot convince a hotel clerk to take a check, he takes cash from the hotel's cash register but leaves behind the check. Leaving the Canyon, they find that Aunt Edna died in her sleep. When they reach Normy's home, they discover he is out of town, and leave Edna's rigor mortised body in the backyard.
Despite all the events and the begging of Ellen and the kids, Clark is more determined to get to Walley World. They finally arrive the next day to find the park closed for repairs. Clark, slipping into madness realizing that all his efforts have been for nothing, buys a realistic-looking BB gun pistol and demands a park security guard named Russ Lasky (John Candy) to take them through the park at gunpoint; Ellen and kids follow him, attempting to placate their husband and father. Eventually the SWAT team arrives along with park owner Roy Walley (Eddie Bracken). Roy understands Clark's impassioned epitome of the American Vacation, bringing back memories of his own childhood years ago. Roy does not file charges against the Griswolds and lets the family enjoy the park as his guests. The credits show various photographs of the Griswolds enjoying the rest of their vacation, including returning to Chicago via plane.

Why aren't we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.

8. Planes, trains, and automobiles

Neal Page is trying to return to his family for Thanksgiving in Chicago after being on a business trip in New York. His journey is doomed from the outset, with Del Griffith (John Candy), a traveling salesman, interfering first by leaving his trunk by the side of the road causing Neal to trip when racing an uncredited character (Kevin Bacon) for a cab, then moments later again by inadvertently snatching the taxi ride that Neal had bought from an attorney just before. The two inevitably pair up later and begin an error-prone adventure to help Neal get back to his home. Their flight from LaGuardia Airport to O'Hare is diverted to Wichita due to a blizzard in Chicago, which ends up dissipating only a few hours after touchdown in Kansas. When every mode of transport (including a train, a bus, and a rental car) fails them, what should have been an 1 hour and 45 minute New York-to-Chicago flight turns into a three-day adventure. To complicate matters even further, on the first night in Wichita, a thief breaks into the poorly-locked motel and steals almost $1,000 aggregate from the two men.
Neal frequently blows up at Del, blaming him for much of their misfortunes, including the robbery of the first night. These ravings are not all unjustified, as Del's carelessly discarded cigarette sets fire to the rental car, melting all but the radio. Del in turn regards Neal as a pretentious and uptight cynic while Del is less afraid to be himself. After much heated argument between the two men, a bond between them forms, and Neal finally manages to overcome his arrogance. Both men pull together to make their way home to Chicago, while Del manages to raise money by selling off his entire inventory of shower curtain rings, to kids and adults alike, who think they make good earrings.
Under the assumption that Del has a family of his own (he frequently mentions his wife Marie and puts a framed picture of her on his various motel nightstands), the two men part ways. However, Neal later pieces together some of the things Del had said about Marie during the journey, and realizes that Del is alone for the holiday. He goes back to the railway station where the two had earlier parted ways and sees him sitting alone. Del tells Neal that Marie actually died eight years prior and that he has been alone and without a permanent home ever since. Neal, feeling sorry for the man who went out of his way just to get him home for Thanksgiving and having himself become a nicer person during the journey, invites Del to enjoy Thanksgiving with his family. The film ends with Neal finally returning home to his wife, children, parents and in-laws, and introducing Del to the family.

 Her first baby came out sideways, she didn't scream or nothin. 

7. Mr. Mom

Jack and Caroline are a couple making a decent living when Jack suddenly loses his job. They agree that he should stay at home and look after the house while Caroline works. It's just that he's never done it before, and really doesn't have a clue.

 Kenny, don't paint your sister! 

Ferris Beuller's Day Off

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite of what the principal thinks of that.

 Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we'd be in gym? 

5. Weird Science

Two unpopular teenagers, Gary and Wyatt, fail at all attempts to be accepted by their peers. Their desperation to be liked leads them to "create" a woman via their computer. Their living and breathing creation is a gorgeous woman, Lisa, whose purpose is to boost their confidence level by putting them into situations which require Gary and Wyatt to act like men. On their road to becoming accepted, they encounter many hilarious obstacles, which gives the movie an overall sense of silliness.

Gimme de keys! Gimme de keys! 

4. Some Kind of Wonderful

A young tomboy, Watts, finds her feelings for her best friend, Keith, run deeper than just friendship when he gets a date with the most popular girl in school. Unfortunately, the girl's old boyfriend, who is from the rich section of town, is unable to let go of her, and plans to get back at Keith.

Because I'm driving you crazy and you're driving me crazy and I'd rather not see you and have you think good things about me than have you see me and hate me. 'Cause I can't afford to have you hate me, Keith. The only things I care about in this goddamn life are me and my drums and you. 

3. Sixteen Candles

Samantha's life is going downhill fast. The fifteen-year-old has a crush on the most popular boy in school, and the geekiest boy in school has a crush on her. Her sister's getting married, and with all the excitement the rest of her family forgets her birthday! Add all this to a pair of horrendously embarrassing grandparents, a foreign exchange student named Long Duc Dong, and we have the makings of a hilarious journey into young womanhood.

What's happenin', hot stuff? 

2. Pretty in Pink

Teenager Andie is one of the not-so-popular girls in high school. She usually hangs out with her friends Iona or Duckie. Duckie has always had a crush on her, but now she has met a new guy at school, Blane. He's one of the rich and popular guys but can the two worlds meet?

I just want them to know that they didn't break me. 

1. The Breakfast Club

They were five students with nothing in common, faced with spending a Saturday detention together in their high school library. At 7 a.m., they had nothing to say, but by 4 p.m., they had bared their souls to each other and become good friends. To the outside world they were simply the Jock, the Brain, the Criminal, the Princess and the Basket Case, but to each other, they would always be the Breakfast Club.
Brian Johnson: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you're crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...

Andrew Clark: ...and an athlete...
Allison Reynolds: ...and a basket case...
Claire Standish: ...a princess...
John Bender: ...and a criminal...
Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question?... Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.

This is my favorite movie from the 80s. The soundtrack is awesome and the actors were awesome as well. 

What are your favorite John Hughs films?

Have a great Wednesday Lovelies!


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