Once upon a time in an entire different universe called the 1980′s, teen movies weren’t just good, but great. They were far better scripted and the group of teenage actors from which directors and casting agents could choose was just, without being insulting, different. One of the most important people to the teen movie genre in the 80′s was writer and director, John Hughes.
Hughes, unlike many before and those who would follow, had particular insight into the teenage mind. In actress, Molly Ringwald, he found a muse, and it was in casting her in the majority of his teen films that audiences found a real connection. Here was a man who actually got what teenagers were thinking, their concerns with cliques, popularity and, of course, unrequited love.
Although Hughes also made a name for himself with such movies as the Home Alone franchise and a few others, it’s his teen films for which he’ll be remembered most. Had he not passed away suddenly from a heart attack while walking in New York City in 2009, he would have been 62 next week.
Even if you’re not old enough to remember Hughes, his influences are everywhere. Director Judd Apatow has acknowledged the impact Hughes has had on his career, as well as the feeling that a part of his childhood had died the day Hughes passed away. He was truly an American icon and forever set the bar on teen films.
It may be hard to conceive that no matter what your age, you may not be familiar with the works of John Hughes. But in case you do fall into that category, let me give you a brief lesson on six of his best movies.