It was August 6, 2009 when the world lost a legend and the children of the 1980s lost its voice — John Hughes. And while that light was extinguished because of a heart attack during a morning walk a decade ago, this week, we saw that familiar beacon, if only for a while.
Josh Gad has been doing something full of whimsy called Reunited Apart. It’s a YouTube mosaic of cast members from popular movies brought together by the power of Zoom and the threat of COVID-19.
There are a handful of videos on display featuring Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings. They’re good for a binging buzz, but the one he released this week on John Hughes was more than a video — it was a sentimental walk down memory lane.
There are six episodes in this reunited saga, and Olaf didn’t get “cold feet” by saving the absolute best for last. If you are familiar with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, or his signature classic, The Breakfast Club, this will bring the water works.
Go grab a tissue.
Reunited, And It Feels So Good
John Hughes was a clairvoyant, an artistic savant. How was he able to get into the minds and hearts of every teenager during the 1980s and not only predict — but understand — how they felt?
Their lives (present company included) was reflected in the mirror of John Hughes’ scripts in each one of his films. Some of the more adult mash-ups (i.e., National Lampoon’s Vacation, Uncle Buck, Planes Trains and Automobiles) had vantage points of the adult/child dynamic Gen-Xers won’t ever forget.
Josh Gad knew that, which is why he tweeted this:
For Gad to compile that tape and to have those people mimic their own lines was a tribute few in Hollywood are able to give or receive. And yet, John Hughes would have probably not enjoyed it as much as we did.
John Hughes Midas Touch
You see, John Hughes quit Hollywood abruptly and unashamedly. Why? Ethics.
He was concerned Hollywood would rear its ugly head and face his sons, so he split to ensure that would never happen. He filled an entire decade with memories. Just say “A John Hughes film” and watch what happens.
Eyes roll back in the skulls of everyone who knows the decade, smiles, and immediately cracks open a memory as easily as an icy cold can of PBR on a hot summer day. It’s magic and that man possessed Houdini’s touch behind the camera. And although he was the wizard of the ’80s, he hated the limelight his talent shined upon him.
Try finding an interview John Hughes gave. I’ll wait… they are rare commodities. The media longed to get inside his head, but all Hughes cared about is getting inside theirs. He was a difficult soul, but not a tortured one. And that Lansing, Michigan upbringing could be seen in every film. Shermer High School is a mythical place, but it’s based on the life he knew.
The tribulations of adolescents. The plights of their parents. And all that testy dialogue in-between. All his movies were based on the life he knew, and us. They were perfect, and even though at times it exposed the harsh reality of teens in those days, none of us would change a word.