John Hughes at 60: We couldn't forget him if we tried
Our '80s shaman John Hughes would have turned 60 years old today. Not a day has passed since his death on Aug. 6, 2009 that I haven't thought of him in some small way, either by answering an e-mail from a Stuck in the '80s friend, thumbing through my collection of '80s DVDs ... or just a subtle, short self-recognition that I and many others who grew up in that decade owe him for helping us get through a tough time or two.
For the last two weeks, I've become addicted to Susannah Gora's new book, You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried, her masterful documentation of Hughes and the Brat Pack films. Today, upon remembering it's the Big Guy's b-day, I thumbed to the last page of her book, hoping for a sentence or two to help me compose my thoughts better.
There, Gora spins a tale of a movie house crowd in Silver Springs, Maryland, watching a recent screening of Sixteen Candles. The fans laugh at the jokes (before they're even spoken), cry happily at the kiss between Jake and Samantha at the end, and then solemnly file out after the film ends, some posing for photos with the movie poster in the lobby.
"Others, however, stop to read the poster's tag line," she writes. "For printed right there, in inconspicuous blue letters ... is a sentence that no one could have predicted -- when it was written over 25 years ago -- would go on to describe the shared experience of a generation forever changed by the movies of their youth: 'It's the time of your life,' it reads, 'that may last a lifetime'."