I wanted to be Sloan Peterson, but in my heart, I knew I was Allison Reynolds. If you are a child of the 80's, you know what I mean...John Hughes was an oracle of sorts for our generation, creating characters that somehow revealed our secret selves, no matter who we were. The jock, the nerd, the stoner. The rich and the poor. The good girl. The rocker. The outsider. Who hasn't, like Cameron, wanted to wrap themselves in a gray cocoon of blankets and hide from the world? Who hasn't loved the wrong guy, like Andie Walsh? Who hasn't wished that their family would just leave them alone? John Hughes created a new set of archetypes for our generation while at the same time celebrating the individual in each of his characters. His endings were not always satisfactory, more like temporary solutions in a world where there would always be another problem. Love, friendships, social status, all were uncertain.
Yet at the same time that he was pointing out the uncertainty of our lives, he was urging us, through characters like Uncle Buck, Ferris, and Kevin McCallister, to celebrate it rather than fear it. To celebrate our own, flawed selves. To sing, wear bad clothes, put pixie sticks on our sandwiches, and eat monstrous pancakes. John Hughes, thank you for making the weird Allisons of the world beautiful, the Duckies and Brians desirable, and the suburbs a place where magic can happen.
Those of you in the Phoenix area can join in an upcoming film festival and celebration of Hughes at the Harkins Valley Art this weekend. Visit The Big Picture for details.