Skip to main content

John Hughes - Bigger than Spielberg?

Call me naive, or blame it on the freshness of his death today, but I'm pretty sure at this point, that John Hughes had a bigger impact on popular culture and popular film than any director of the last thirty years - and yes, that includes Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas.

Don't get me wrong, both Uncle George and Stephen have done wonderful things for film, but just hear me out.

First of all, look at the resume of all three - George and Stephen have, together, produced a hand full of what I believe to be classic movies - The Star Wars Trilogy, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Schindlers List, and Saving Private Ryan - to name a few. And while I don't diminish their impact on popular culture (Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jaws, mostly) or their impact on the art of film (Schindlers, Private Ryan), I still don't see their overall mark on the popular culture of movies and life to be as massive of that of John Hughes.

Look at his resume:

Mr. Mom - changed the way America looked at the traditional family structure, and it's even helped make what guys like me do more acceptable.

National Lampoons Vacation (The whole series) - Who hasn't referred to their vacation as Griswoldesque, at least once? Christmas Vacation, at least in my home, is required viewing during the holidays. And, anyone who has ever been to England, I'm sure, has probably pointed to Big Ben, Parliament, in the same way Clark Griswold did.

Ferris Buellers Day Off - My cousin Mike made it a tradition to watch this movie every time he returned home from college. Now, I'm not as BIG a fan of this movie as he was and is, but there's no doubt that this is a classic. I know I've even called out Bueller....Bueller, a couple of times in my head during roll call while in school.

Sixteen Candles - When even my wife, who isn't nearly as immersed in pop culture as I am, can quote a movie, I have to give it props for the impact it has made overall. Dong!!!

Pretty in Pink - Another great teen flick, set the bar for the rest of the teen movies that would follow. Plus, who doesn't like the Psychedelic Furs theme song?

The Breakfast Club - my all time fave - What appears as a simple teen comedy is actually a deep examination of teen culture that spans the generations - yesterdays criminal is today's misunderstood thug. Yesterdays Prom Princess is the same as Today's Prom Princess. I could go on and on, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the Western World that doesn't relate to one of the rich characters in this movie.

There's more - Planes, Trains Automobiles, Weird Science, The Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck, even Home Alone. All of these are movies that anyone can relate too, and has related to over the years. And that's where I think Hughes impact is the largest; While stuff like Star Wars reaches an esoteric audience (albeit, a LARGE esoteric audience...)the movies of John Hughes are relatable to anyone who has ever been a teenager, or a twentysomething, or a married guy trying to relate to his in-laws.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Hughes. Thank you for everything.


Popular posts from this blog

One Down, A Few More to Go...

It's taken me over a year to finally get off of my behind and update my website. But now - it's here. Well, most of it. I have a few kinks to iron out, but I have it uploaded and working, and you can check it out here. I'll take any advice I can get, so fire away.

But there's a problem when I get a major project finished. There's a dozen more I have to get off the ground. Here are a few of them. A to do list, if you will.

1) Update my portfolio. There's one thing that designers and other artists have to do in order to maintain fresh - keep creating. I've been doing a bunch of things, mostly non-creative, but I really need to update my work portfolio - some new, versatile projects that showcase my skills. While putting my portfolio together, I noticed that I have a lot of solid poster design, so I'm going to have to focus on some layout and other design projects. Maybe I'll do a CD Cover design, and a magazine layout. They don't have t…

The End of An (Albeit Short...) Era

So I only have a little over a month left of school, and since being a student gives me the benefit of a student discount I figured I would take advantage of what little time I had to get the few things I would need after graduation. One of the things I’ve wanted was to upgrade from Mac’s Tiger OS to the new OS, Leopard, which I missed by about three months when I bought my beloved MacBook Pro last summer.

So I got the OS disc delivered via FedEx just yesterday, and decided to take the time to run the upgrade in the afternoon so I could do some homework tomorrow night, after everyone was in bed, the standard operating procedure since I’ve been in school.

Before I go on, let me add that in the past month or two my MacBook has been starting up slow, and despite following the advice I got from my friend (and fellow MacBook owner) Dave to check my permissions, it still ran slow. I had gotten used to the inconvenience -- heck, I’ve been a PC user for a few years now and was used to minor …

Melon Collie

No, I'm not writing about the classic Smashing Pumpkins album. If only it were that easy. I'm sure I could spend pages spewing all sorts of love for songs like 1979 and Tonight, but alas, I won't be.

I've been melancholy lately. I'm not really known for that particular facet of my personality -- in fact, I do quite well at covering up whatever sadness or weight that I'm bearing with a smile or corny joke. I'm not sure where that comes from, maybe I'm like a chameleon in that way - but instead of skin that blends in with the background, my defense mechanism is humor.

My life really isn't bad -- we're having another child in a few months, we have a nice (albeit in need of some repairs) home, Josiah is doing great in school. And heck, I'm not really depressed. Just....melancholy. Simply sad.

I think most of it is stress. Michelle left one of her jobs, which is awesome, since she'll be home more. But we'll be taking a somewhat ma…