While I was eulogizing John Hughes last week here on Staticblog, I was surprised at how emotional I became when I learned about his passing and then had to sit here and convey my feelings about losing the director of films from my youth such as “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I spent the better part of that afternoon fending off a total blubbering breakdown, and there’s no question about it: I was mourning the loss of childhood as much as the death of Hughes.
While I was having lunch with Matt Price of Nerdage today, we were talking about how we both had this hope that he would come back after so many years away from the director’s chair, and capture what it was like to grow up and turn 40 the way he captured what it was like to turn 16, navigate the social Darwinism of high school, get married and have babies. It’s not equal to it, but the sentiment is generally the same: death brings a finality to some dreams, like the Beatles getting back together.
Here is a great guest column from Molly Ringwald in the New York Times on what it was like to be Hughes’ muse during those days, and how he abruptly ended their friendship once Ringwald made the decision to work with other directors. Its a bittersweet column in which Samantha Baker and Farmer Ted from “Sixteen Candles” grow up, start their own families, and find that the guy who was calling the shots on those teenage scenes still influences them well into adulthood. Very nice.