Monday, February 14, 2011

Pretty in Pink or How I Wished I Was John Hughes' Love Child

I am going through a big 80s phase at the moment. It might have something to do with watching my own son hurtle through his teenage years (can he really be turning 18 in a couple of months?), but recently I have been having terrible cravings for John Hughes movies. As a teenager, I adored these films. John Hughes seemed to understand teenagers in a way that no parent or teacher ever could.
I was almost too afraid to go back and watch all my teenage favourites: Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, in case with my cynical adult eyes I would be disappointed; they hold such a dear place in my heart. But I have to say I have loved revisiting every minute of them. The clothes! (as a teenager I modelled myself on Molly Ringwald - pictured), the music! (Simple Minds, Spandau Ballet, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), but most importantly the characters. John Hughes knew how to create a guy you couldn't help but fall in love with. Whether it was the wounded bad boy (Judd Nelson) in The Breakfast Club, the sensitive rich boy in Pretty in Pink (Andrew McCarthy) or the heart-breakingly obsessive nerd (Jon Cryer - pictured) or Sixteen Candles (Anthony Michael Hall). Even though you knew Molly was better off without any of them, every one of his characters had me aching, then and now.
It's hard to believe with such an overwhelming plethora of Young Adult books available today, that this genre was still cutting its teeth when I was a teenager. You could almost count the YA authors on one hand, but there was some great stuff being produced in film as well as literature. Like many teenagers, my parents quickly became obsolete once I realised they didn't know half of what they claimed to and a lot less about teenagers than they thought they did. As far as I'm concerned, it was John Hughes and Judy Blume who got through my teenage years. Even if the stories they told were a world away from my own reality.
Don't worry, I'm sure my own teenage son feels the same way about me. I only wish I could know who his substitute parents are.
But that's his story.

10 comments:

  1. It's funny (and a bit scary) how the kids think of the 80s as 'retro'. Oh please! They were only yesterday, surely??? Lovely post, Sally. jxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know! I get such a kick out of seeing kids these days dressed like Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer! Oh, we were so hip...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aren't they great! I watched The Breakfast Club quite recently and enjoyed it as much as ever.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fabulous. I'm only sad that John Hughes is no longer alive to put Six Impossible Things on the big screen. JH and SIP would have gone together like peaches and cream, pork pie hats and lace gloves, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall...sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Did you see the movie Easy A last year? Hilarious homage to John Hughes movies.

    Go Judd Nelson!

    ReplyDelete
  6. No, I haven't seen that movie, Kate. I will definitely look out for it. Unless it makes fun of my treasured John Hughes, like a Date Movie spoof?! I couldn't bear that!

    ReplyDelete
  7. yeah - john hughes is definitely the patron saint of the teenager ... I think Pretty in Pink is my favourite - not sure why (possibly Iona and the idea of transformation, though I was always diappointed that she ended up with a yuppie!)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yeah, and I was always disappointed Molly didn't end up with Jon Cryer - he was so much cooler (even if slightly obsessive ie; nuts!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. No it is definitely a celebration of John Hughes movies! Oh how you will laugh! And it's a very clever teen comedy. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great! Can't wait to see it, Kate.

    ReplyDelete