sixteen candles


John Hughes was the mastermind behind some of cinema’s most classic teen movies. He helped launch the careers of Matthew Broderick, Macaulay Culkin, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson and Jon Cryer, just to name a few.

When I think about loving a movie, I think about the ones I can watch and fall in love with all over again. I think about the ones that made my heart skip a beat, made me laugh and made me feel a little less alone. I think of the ones that made me fall in love with storytelling, with music and with film, I think of John Hughes. To honour him and this holiday, I’m going to share what I love about about some of his classic feel-good films and what they taught me about life and love.

Sixteen Candles taught me that families can be hectic — heck, they might even forget your birthday! — but at the end of the day they will always love you. It also taught me that you can’t ignore your feelings. Maybe Ted isn’t for you, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be your friend. Maybe Jake is the most popular senior in school, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know who you are. If it’s meant to be, he’ll find you after your sister’s wedding and you can hop in his beautiful red car and romantically kiss him over your belated birthday cake. (Look out for any clothing to catch on fire.) I love this film for its earnest humour and for showing that people can make real connections. despite social borders.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a prime example of how most kids wish they could spend a sick day. Ferris is notorious for giving good kids bad ideas, but his tricks and ploys are so clever that nobody could stay mad at him for long, except for Mr. Rooney. I love so many things about this film, like that even if you annoy your sister to the core, she’ll still have your back. Or that you can have the best day ever just being with your best friends. Ferris taught me that I want to dance on a float in a parade, weasel my way into a fancy French restaurant and stare so deeply into the threads of a canvas painting at a museum, specifically in Chicago. But what I really took away from this film is the notion that life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

The Breakfast Club is a hilariously, beautiful story of teenagers looking past all the labels and reasons to avoid getting to know each other. Five very different students are stuck in the same room for Saturday morning detention, a situation which at first seems dreadful and turns into an entertaining, inspiring and bittersweet memory for the characters and us viewers. We get to see vastly different characters, from very different walks of life, realize they have a lot more in common than they originally thought. The last scene taught me that a song can transcend a moment in film. The film taught me that we’re all pretty bizarre (some of us are just better at hiding it than others) and that even if you have to write an essay about who you think you are, it’s OK if you need more time to write it.


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