I was lucky enough to have been a child of the 80s. I say lucky because the 80s was way before mobile phones and Xbox. Not to sound like an old fuddy duddy, but I only wish my future children could grow up the way I did.
I remember riding my bike around to entertain myself. Playing board games like Mouse Trap, Monopoly and Operation. And mucking around on the Slip and Slide. This one time, I went to my friends house to go on the Slip and Slide, but it was only just long enough for her backyard. So we pretty much had to stop ourselves just before the fence or we would go flying in to it.
Those were the good old days.
One of the best parts of the 80s and early 90s was the great films I got to watch growing up. And the king of these films was John Hughes. If you've seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club or Uncle Buck, you'll probably know where I'm coming from. John Hughes truly did the 'coming of age' storyline justice.
Sadly, in late 2009 John Hughes passed away. But he will always be remembered for writing and directing some of the greatest films of my time.
So, what better way to celebrate his life than to have yourself a John Hughes movie night. Maybe you're a fan from way back, or have only recently discovered his genius. Either way, young and old can get together to enjoy an evening of the best John Hughes flicks.
You'll want to invite a few of your closest friends around. You know, the brain, the athlete, the criminal, the princess and the basket case, just like The Breakfast Club. And maybe you'd like to make yourself some sushi, popcorn sandwiches, and a few rounds of PB and J with the crusts cut off. Now, you're all set for your John Hughes marathon.
The following are just a few of what I believe to be the best of his films, and no matter what age, I promise you won't be disappointed.
1. Uncle Buck - 1989:[/LINK]
Starring: John Candy, Amy Madigan, Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffman and Macaulay Culkin.
Possibly my favourite of them all, and in fact one of my favourite movies of all time due to the fact that I am a mad John Candy fan.
Uncle Buck tells the story of 'Buck,' played by John Candy. His brother Bob is married to Cindy. Late one night, Cindy receives
a phone call from Indianapolis saying that her father has suffered a heart attack. After going through their whole address book, (yes, and address book, not their iPhone) they decide to call their last resort, Buck, and ask if he could watch the kids while they're away.
Now Buck is not the most desirable option for this upper class family. Buck likes to drink, smoke, gamble and drives a car that always backfires. Upon his arrival, he hits it off with the two little kids, Miles and Maizy, but not so much with his teenage niece Tia.
The rest of the film handles Buck's struggle with Tia and her boyfriend 'Bug,' who is involved in some of the most hilarious scenes of the film.
If you're not a fan of John Candy, or haven't seen many of his films, I guarantee you will be a fan after this.
2. Pretty in Pink - 1986:[/LINK]
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, Harry Dean Stanton, James Spader.
Many of John Hughes films star what was called the 'Brat Pack'. This consisted of Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy.
The Breakfast Club is a good introduction to majority of these actors, but I thought I would start with my favourite Molly Ringwald flick.
Pretty in Pink is a teen romantic comedy about falling in love, and the different cliques in American high school's in the 80s.
Molly Ringwald plays Andie, who doesn't have the coolest clothes and car, she just gets by. She is creative and unique, and best friend to Duckie, played by Jon Cryer, who you would know as Alan in Two and A Half Men.
In short, Duckie loves Andie, but Andie loves Blaine who loves her back. But, Blaine has money, so the two have to get over their social stereotype and try to make it as a couple whilst keeping hold of their friendships.
The music in this film is a blast, with a stellar scene from Duckie with his rendition of Otis Redding's, 'Try a Little Tenderness'.
This film will really take you back to the 80s. It will make you laugh, shed a little tear, and associate with at least one of the characters.
3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 1986:[/LINK]
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey. You'll catch a glimpse of Charlie Sheen in this one too.
Possibly one of John Hughes' biggest hits, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is definitely up there in the best teen comedies of all time.
In a nutshell, Ferris Bueller skips school, and the film follows his 'day off' with his girlfriend, Sloane, and best friend Cameron.
Hot on his heels is the school Dean, Mr Rooney, and also his sister Jeanie, played by Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey.
I can't get enough of this film. I could watch it a million times over and never get sick of it. I could come to the very end of the film and say, 'Let's put it on again' and quite happily watch it right through again with the same amount of laughs.
The stand out scene for me would have to be when Ferris gets on the parade float. Apparently when the scene was shot that day, no-one was aware. A radio station told people a 'John Hughes movie was being shot downtown' and all of a sudden 10,000 people showed up.
For a film that was written in less than a week by Hughes, it's sure to stay in your heart for a lifetime.
4. Home Alone - 1990:[/LINK]
Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O'Hara.
When this film was released, I was seven years old. Back then, I had a huge crush on Macaulay Culkin, and also wanted to be left home alone at Christmas.
How things have changed.
Anyone who grew up in the 90s will have seen this flick, I bet you anything.
It tells the story of Kevin, who is left home alone at Christmas time. With two bandits watching his house in the hopes of robbing it, thinking everyone is away for Christmas, Kevin is left to protect himself with his own creative devices.
So, there you have a good 8 hours of films to take you through your John Hughes Marathon night. Other films to mention that also may be of interest are:
The Breakfast Club
Baby's Day Out
National Lampoon's Vacation
You may even like to try and track down the 2009documentary on the director titled "Don't You Forget About Me" - named, of course, after the well known Simple Minds songs featured in his film "The Breakfast Club."
This documentary follows four young filmmakers who try to track down John Hughes. In 1991, Hughes disappeared from Hollywood after a decade of releasing the best teen films. The doco consists of interviews with stars of his films, and the search for the director himself.
John Hughes is one of the greatest writer/directors of all time, so who better to celebrate the life of on a lazy winter Saturday night.
This is a brilliant article. I may not have been born in the 80s, but I grew up watching these films. My parents were and still are big fans.
I think it's safe to say that Home Alone is my most watches film, ever. I used to watch it at least 4 times a week when I was little.
All these movies are in my favourites list, and now you're making me want to watch them again. The one I haven't had the pleasure of watching is the documentary, I never could get my hands on it. I'll have to try harder next time.
By Daniella - senior reviewer Tuesday, 4th of October @ 02:57 pm
Thanks Daniella! They're my favourite flicks for sure.
When I was writing the article and watching some of the previews again, it reminded me of when I was young, and I went and had a John Hughes marathon that very weekend.
They're the kind of movies parents will be showing their kids for many years to come.
Good luck getting your hands on the doco. You can actually buy it from Amazon.com here
By Old Account - senior reviewer Wednesday, 5th of October @ 12:24 am
For bringing back alot of great memories of my childhood during the 80's. Breakfast Club will always be one of my fave John Hughes movies- the music, the great cast and the story line which is still prevalant today. I'll have to dig through my DVD collection and see which J.H. movies I've got and get some friends over for a great night.
By steve - reader Tuesday, 28th of August @ 06:47 am