There are those people in your life who you’ll never meet but who have an inconceivably deep impact. Ask any 40-something about writer-director John Hughes and they will tell you how important at least one of his movies was to them growing up.
Maybe they were the school geek with a thing for the awkward redhead like Anthony Michael Hall in “Sixteen Candles.” Maybe they had one fabulous day playing hookie in high school like Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, and Alan Ruck in “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” Or maybe they had a crush on the popular boy but just didn’t have the right dress for the prom like Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink.”
Yes, we never knew John Hughes but that doesn’t mean he didn’t know us. He seemed to nail every “Breakfast Club” like moment of teen angst we lived. And we were so grateful that someone above the age of 17 seemed to get it and wanted us to know that we weren’t alone in our adolescent hormonal hell.
It’s hard to believe that there were a handful of kids our age who actually did know Hughes. The actors that seemed to be playing out our lives on the big screen actually got to work with him every day. And yet, when they grew up, they all seemed to lose touch with the man who left Hollywood behind to live a peaceful life with his family outside of the spotlight before dying of a heart attack in Manhattan last summer.
David Kamp sat down with Hughes’ biggest stars recently and asked Ringwald, Hall, and Broderick about their memories of the man who made them household names. The article will appear in this month’s Vanity Fair but he’s also posted some excerpts that didn’t make the final piece. Their observations are touching and insightful. Just a like a John Hughes movies.