There are two men in this world that made me love films. Walt Disney and John Hughes.
John was probably the bigger influence to be perfectly honest (I know Disney fans will kill me for saying it). I’ve been watching his films since before I can remember. His films have inspired my life choices, my dreams, even my expectations of life. John Hughes is my muse.
Although plenty of people have no idea, you have probably seen a John Hughes film. Whether it be Pretty in Pink or Home Alone 3, the chances of you having watched a Hughes film is like 90%. Some of my absolute favorites are Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles. Actually, for my sixteenth birthday I watched Sixteen Candles. What a coincidence!
Without these films that have shaped my childhood, and especially my teenage years, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I grew up watching Home Alone at every birthday party I was invited to, and it made me love films. I wouldn’t be the cinephile I am right now without the brilliant mind of John Hughes. It’s ridiculous, but he seriously is one of my icons. And had I had the chance, I’d have met him in a heartbeat.
“I’m a former hippie, so clothes are important to me – your clothes defined you in that period. I guess clothes still defines people. But, I change a lot. I’m in my Brooks Brothers period now.” -John Hughes
When John Hughes died I was 14. I didn’t know his name but I knew all his films. I didn’t know he had died until the Oscars, when Molly Ringwald, Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer, Macaulay Culkin, and other actors from his films came out onto the stage. They had beautiful, heartfelt things to say about Mr. Hughes and I didn’t even know that the man they were talking about was one of my biggest heroes. It was at that moment, when they played a short clip of some of his films, that I realized who this man was and how much I adored him. That’s a moment I’ll never forget.
John Hughes was a great man. He made films that connect with me on a real level because ones like The Breakfast Club and Uncle Buck had real life situations that didn’t end with a movie conclusion, but rather with something that could happen in my own life. Sure, the girl doesn’t always end up with Jake Ryan and not everyone gets off playing hooky, but it feels so lifelike that it doesn’t matter. Those films are pure gold to me. They always will be.
Enjoy your icons forever. Those are the people who got you where you are today. Send them a letter telling them how they’ve inspired you. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.