Friday, August 7, 2009

the death of John Hughes….

Anyone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s should be familiar with the work of John Hughes. If not, he’s the creative mind behind such great classic 80’s movies as the National Lampoon “Vacation” series, the “Home Alone” series, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles.” I only mention these few because they’re some of my favorites and I can quote from most of them.

Although you can’t really compare them to Academy award winners like “Sound of Music” or “Gone with the Wind,” I think his movies will still hold a timeless classic appeal for future generations.

If nothing else, the “Vacation” movies can perhaps make you feel better about your own family. Having been to London multiple times and driven through roundabouts where I live now on a daily basis, I would be remiss not to quote, “Look kids, Parliament, Big Ben!”

The “Home Alone” movies are great because every kid has probably had that fantasy at one time or another of what they would do if left to their own devices. I admit to sometimes having that fantasy myself on nights my husband is out (except I still can’t bring myself to eat a half a gallon of ice cream in one sitting) : ). I also really like that they’re sentimental too.

“Planes, Trains, & Automobiles,” though not my favorite by a long stretch, will always be memorable because my hometown was almost in the movie. Apparently they were scouting locations in the Midwest looking for places that had a little snow on the ground. If my memory serves, it must have been sometime between September and November because I think it was the middle of football season. My friend and I wandered into town either during or just after our local middle school football game. We saw that they had closed off “Main Street” and were filming a car driving back and forth down the street. Actually, I don’t think the car was actually being “driven” as much as it was being pulled down the street by a device with a camera rigged up in front of it. Although I can’t remember the name of the car off the top of my head, I do recall the tacky adult-oriented décor inside. It might have even had a fur interior, though I can’t substantiate that. Not surprisingly, I think most of that scene ended up on the cutting room floor.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” will always be my favorite, even as an adult, because who doesn’t like to play hooky once in awhile? (though I’ve never had the nerve to fake an illness). Plus, Chicago is a great city in which to play hooky. I can’t imagine taking off in a fancy car and going to Cleveland while I was in high school. Almost none of the attractions that are there now existed back then. I think our only options would have been the zoo, a handful of museums (none on par with the ones in Chicago), and the old Galleria shopping center (and Higbee’s too).

John Hughes, may you rest in peace.

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