By Susannah Gora.
As an 80's dork, I was quite pleased to be gifted with this by another 80's dork. It's an enjoyable trip through the creation of John Hughes's most influential movies (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, retty In Pink, Some Kind Of Wonderful, Ferris Bueller's Day Off), St. Elmo's Fire as the origin of the "Brat Pack" label, and covering Say Anything as the successor/last gasp to the 80's teen movies after John Hughes quit doing them. It seems like almost everyone involved in the movies (except for the disappearing Michael Schoffeling and the deceased John Hughes) was interviewed for this, so it's very comprehensive.
Especially memorable bits:
(a) How John Hughes was really just this giant teenager who really really liked bonding with his muse Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and how he got totally butthurt when they said they'd like to do movies with other people too and basically never spoke to them again. He was also disappointed that it didn't quite go the same on Ferris Bueller (what with them being older) and kind of sulked off.
(b) John Hughes is, I'm sorry to say, VERY EASILY BUTTHURT. He is constantly being BFF's with people, and any time they so much as slightly disagree with him, he cuts them off forever. Except for director Howie Deutch, who somehow manages to grovel enough to get into his good graces again. Later, John Hughes gets high on his own success, becomes a real dick and does stuff like Curly Sue, then realized he was becoming a dick and quit the business.
(c) I felt very sorry for the whole Brat Pack after reading the story of how they were all just having a great time hanging out together during the filming of St. Elmo's Fire, until Emilio Estevez got the bright idea to invite the guy writing a profile of him along while they all went drinking. The guy didn't find any of them particularly appealing on that night, and the label basically ruined the friendships of all of them forever. Which is really sad, especially what Judd Nelson said about it. "Once there became this derogatory term, it was never the same. I haven't really seen them in many years. And that is a shame. Because I thought I was going to be friends with these people my whole life."
(d) I enjoyed reading the controversies behind Pretty in Pink and Some Kind Of Wonderful. Probably because I am biased and never was a fan of Duckie-- he kind of came off as a stalker-ish dude to me, but also he ah... well, between the casting of Jon Cryer who always seems kind of prissy and seems about 50 percent gay in normal clothes, and then putting him in clothing described as "zany", well... first time I watched it I thought, "uh, isn't he gay?" I have never stopped thinking that it just seemed wrong to claim the guy was heterosexual, and that's why the moviemakers wanting Andie to end up with Duckie would not have worked for me. Jon Cryer is kind of ticked about it, Molly Ringwald is all, "It would have worked if it had Robert Downey Jr." I concur. As for the Some Kind Of Wonderful, that was due to a lot of cast changes, including the director being in and out of the movie a few times. Amusingly enough, I liked how you eventually find out that the winning director had a crush on Lea Thompson and got to marry her. Aw!
Very enjoyable for 80's nerds.