The director of some of the greatest teen comedies of all-time has passed away today. John Hughes, who was 59 years old, died of a heart attack while visiting family earlier this morning in Manhattan.
Hughes showed a true understanding of teenage angst throughout the 1980s, which was showcased in such films as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Weird Science. Unfortunately as the 80s came to an end, so did the peak in Hughes’ career and throughout the 90s and 2000s, he only worked as a c0-writer and co-producer of semi-successful comedies.
My favorite John Hughes film hands down is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The dichotomy between the uptight Cameron and the free-spirited Ferris makes for fascinating buddy comedy. It’s the ultimate high school comedy. Ferris represents the popular student that every young person strives to be and Cameron represents the realism that high schoolers have to face. Ferris essentially lives in a fantasy world. His parents are overly caring, he is adored by all his peers, and everything seems to go his way. Cameron on the other hand is not naturally popular. He is neurotic and nervous and he even has to deal with parental neglect and suggested abuse. John Hughes uses the two boys to simultaneously examine the fantasies and realities of high school life and create Odd Couple-esque comedy.
Hughes was a true genius of his time and easily has to be considered one of the greatest directors of the 80s, if not the director that defined teen comedy in the 80s. He will be missed.
What was your favorite John Hughes film?