John Hughes, RIP

Movie writer/director John Hughes has passed away.

I’m of the right age for his films to have hit at about the right time. The Breakfast Club is by far the important one to me. It may seem obvious, but it works. Still works, it seems, having talked to people decades younger than myself who have watched it. Stuff like Ferris Beuhler and Planes, Tranes, and Automobiles have strong value, of course, and much entertainment in some of the films he put together for other directors – Home Alone, Pretty in Pink, and so forth. But in the end, it’s The Breakfast Club that justifies it all, creatively.

I’d find myself thinking about Hughes from time to time, because he was gone from the scene. Hadn’t done a new produced screenplay in quite some time. I wondered if he just decided to get off the spinning wheel, or if perhaps he had early Alzheimers or some other debilitation that kept him out of the game. Certainly, a loss. I doubt Hollywood just dumped him. I mean, he may not have always had hits, but one Home Alone makes up for a lot of Baby’s Day Outs and Career Opportunitieses.

I also wondered when folks would be smart enough to do a stage version of The Breakfast Club. It seems too obvious. Simplest thing in the world to stage — really, it’s one set, a small cast. Plenty of bases for musical numbers, if you want to do a musical of it. And the audience for whom it’s iconic is now of the age to afford Broadway prices. Also, it would have a long life in local theater.

The death isn’t an art tragedy. He wasn’t producing, to the best of my knowledge. But…

Well, he was 59 when he died. Young to die, but not monstrously young. Still… if I die at that age, my new son will be fatherless at age 15. It’s hard not to see things in that context this week.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 11:23 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I find that the quote attributed to Patrick Moynihan after the JFK assassination, in response to Mary McGrory’s comment that “We’ll never laugh again.”, comes to mind all too much when life brings what it inevitably brings around the middle ages: too much loss.

    “Mary, we’ll laugh again, but we’ll never be young again.”

    John Hughes’ dying certainly brings it to mind.

    As one who remembers you from the days of the CIS comics forum, congratulations on the birth of young Gertler. Don’t worry about the math – plenty of fatherless people have—sires that are plenty alive and kicking. I have no doubt that you’ll be a very good Dad, which is no mean feat, and the important thing.


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