Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Vanity Fair" On John Hughes

I wasn't a huge fan of The Breakfast Club (1985), perhaps writer-director John Hughes' most iconic movie. But I did really like Sixteen Candles (1984) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). And I liked National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) starring Chevy Chase, and Pretty In Pink (1986), each of which he wrote but did not direct, even more. The success of Home Alone (1990), which he wrote and produced, gave him the financial freedom to drop out of Hollywood (some said in J.D. Salinger style). But then he died suddenly last summer of cardiac arrest while on a morning walk in New York City at the age of 59.

This month's
Vanity Fair magazine has a lengthy but fascinating portrait of him which you can read HERE. Among the many revelations in this article are details about the intense relationships he developed off-screen with two of his young teenaged stars, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, relationships he abruptly terminated without explanation in the mid-1980s in the midst of their greatest successes. The article reads in part:

"For Ringwald, the sheer bliss of working with a director who 'seemed like one of us' was sometimes offset by the discomfort of enduring Hughes’s very teen-like sulks. 'He was so easily slighted and hurt,' she says... Tucked away in the Time story, though, was an intriguing, unexplicated quotation from Ringwald. 'I don’t really see him anymore,' she said of Hughes. 'I still respect him a lot, and if he gave me a good script, I’d read it. But I don’t think we’ll work together again real soon.'

"In fact, they didn’t work together ever again. The story behind Ringwald’s words, she says, is that she and Hughes had by then fallen out—or, at any rate, he had fallen out with her. Near the end of the filming of The Breakfast Club, she and Hall began dating. Both 16, they were by far the youngest cast members; Nelson, Estevez, and Sheedy were in their 20s. It wasn’t a shocker that two teenagers working together on two consecutive films would hook up, but, in Ringwald’s perception, their little romance upset Hughes. 'He did not like it at all,' she says. She still doesn’t fully grasp why this was—perhaps because she and Hall had veered off script from the ordained narratives of their creator, creating a story line of their own?"

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