05/12/2011

Here's Something Tenuously Linked To Christmas Which Is Allowed Because It's December: A John Hughes Movie Marathon

Pat Sharp <  John Hughes
There are many things to look forward to at Christmas time; overeating, family time, TV specials, alcohol at breakfast and laughing at jokes in crackers and feeling no shame about it to name but a few. But the best bit for me is parking in front of the telly with a stack of DVDs and/or a TiVo full of full of films that you haven't had time to catch up on during the rest of year, so luckily, I've been asked to contribute to a blog and share my top choices for a movie-themed duvet day. Just pretend to care and this'll be over before you know it.

There was a collective sad face around the globe on August 6th, 2009 when news of John Hughes' fatal heart attack spread. Even though he'd all but disappeared from the public eye by the mid-90s (but continued to write and produce under a pseudonym), his death reminded everyone that his legacy is far more important than just being part of 80s zeitgeist along with legwarmers, braces and massive mobile phones. Yes, I'm a fan, and here are my three John Hughes choices that'd make a perfect duvet day. 

Pretty In Pink (1986)


Pretty In Pink is one of the many painfully John Hughes-esque films he didn't actually direct (see also: Home Alone, Flubber, National Lampoon's Vacation and Some Kind Of Wonderful, which is basically the same film) and although producing and directing duties when to two other people, it's clearly all about The Hughes. All his favourite themes are painfully evident: bullying, fitting in, parental issues, teenage love, cliques and people wearing magnificent - MAGNIFICENT - outfits, and although this isn't the best example of comedy (aka Annie Potts) seamlessly meshing with drama, who cares when you have all this:
  1. Jon Cryer's dance.
  2. The Psychedelic Furs' theme song.
  3. James Spader looking fucking awesome.

The Breakfast Club (1985)


Five teens from different crowds spending an afternoon in a library doesn't sound very appetising on paper, but that simple premise teamed with ace performances (HELLO PAUL GLEASON), a tight script and Simple Minds make this a bonafide classic and probably/maybe/definitely Hughes' greatest work. Tapping into the cliquey nature of an American high school, Hughes managed to make some whiny kids not come across as complete arseholes by not talking down to them or belittling their issues the way I just did. I discovered this long before I became a teenager and even now as I approach my *cough*ties, it gets me right in the spot where I'll soon die after officially becoming my mother. Here's some other bits that are quite good:
  1. Post-discussion dance
  2. YES.
  3. Final shot air-punch.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)


Because "The Man" is a big ole killjoy, nowadays popular areas are scouted by community coppers to curb kids from bunking off and even parents can be charged for not reprimanding their sprogs, so if Ferris Bueller tried to have his great day in London circa 2011, his ass would be rotting in Feltham prison. Not that realism is the point of this deeeeeelightful film in which a smart arse - but likeable - kid bunks off school and drags his unstable mate and smoking hot GF with him for a day of driving a fast car, seeing priceless art and pretending to be Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago. Apart from Cameron's freak out (NOT THE CAR!!!!) this is Hughes' only real out-and-out teen comedy and there's a reason why the very talented Matthew Broderick can't live it down. It's amazing, and here's some other amazing stuff:
  1. Ferris sees your dance scene and raises you A WHOLE FUCKING PARADE.
  2. "You wear too much eye make-up. My sister wears too much, people think she's a whore."
  3. Nike brought out some official Ferris Dunks. I want.
 

Honourable Mention: Cough
 
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