DEMENTED AND SAD, BUT SOCIAL: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN HUGHES
Cinema continues to have a tumultuous relationship with the troubled adolescent. For every Rushmore, there’s a direct-to-DVD sequel to American Pie. For every Dazed and Confused, there’s a Dude, Where’s My Car?. It seems the male teenager is ceaselessly catered for at the multiplex but never accurately represented, with his female counterpart considered an unfortunate afterthought, or merely the object of sexual conquest. From faux-art wankery like Wanted pandering to only horny fifteen year-olds and gun enthusiasts, to Megan Fox draped over a motorcycle in hot pants in Transformers II, and sex ‘comedies’ like Miss March which posit the myth that getting laid by a porn star is, like, so totally awesome; young adults aren’t treated seriously so much as reduced to behavioural patterns in target demographics. The films where men aren’t bull-headed jocks and women aren’t rah-rah, wish-fulfilling ciphers with the emotional complexity of a herd of lobotomised yaks, they’re either sterilised teen starlets –witness the sexless Hannah Montana– or craven sex maniacs in the vein of Revenge of the Nerds and Porky’s.
was watching sixteen candles recently for the first time (great film) and this was on the soundtrack.
the writer/director of that film as well as many others, (ferris bueller’s day off, the breakfast club, weird science, home alone) john hughes, died last month. i’ve loved his work since i was a kid, when home alone was my favourite movie. more than any other filmmaker i know of, hughes knew how to take his teenage characters seriously, as well as play out their fantasies, much like harry potter does for the current generation, of which im a part of. so cheers john hughes, you were really good at what you did (and had a great taste in music). x