Remembering John Hughes and what he meant to the 1980s

As a writer and as someone who felt like an outsider growing up in the 1980s, it should be easy for me to talk about what writer/director John Hughes meant to me. Hughes died yesterday at 59, a year or two younger than my parents, and yet despite being one of Them, he spoke so truthfully to my generation, who came of age to his coming-of-age movies. Whether you're now in your 20s, 30s or even 40s, there was something about his comedies that felt as though they were tapping into your own life experience. The Breakfast Club. Sixteen Candles. Weird Science. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Hughes wrote, produced and directed all of those films in a few short years in the mid-1980s. He also wrote National Lampoon's Vacation (based on his first short story for the Lampoon) as well as its sequels, Mr. Mom, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Uncle Buck, and made a ton of money on the Home Alone series. We all have our own entry point into the Hughes oeuvre, and a character or two who we reference and identify with more closely than the others. If Michael Jackson provided a soundtrack for our collective experience, then John Hughes provided our pre-Web version of blogging, documenting our adolescent angst and giving it life on the big screen. Whether we were a brain, an...

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