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.