My poor Ellie is starting her first year of Junior High this week, and, aside from trying to figure out how my firstborn could possibly be so old while I am not, I am concerned about her welfare as she leaps into pre-adulthood.
Not because she is starting out Junior High in braces and glasses like I did (big props to Drs. B & G, respectively, for helping her avoid that).
(Don’t worry Mom, I’m over it now.)
(Can’t you tell?)
No, the problem is much deeper than that. Ellie, and all of her friends, will go through their formative years without the benefit of John Hughes.
Everyone who came of age in the 1980’s knows exactly what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about the man who made weekend detention look as cool as taking a day off from school. The man who raised the bar for every girl’s 16th Birthday to include a Jake and a cake and inspired them to make their own pink prom dresses. (Mine was a strapless, tea-length pink lace number, but, I confess, was completely store-bought.)
The man who unmasked Eric Stoltz as not only a brilliant actor, but a hot one too. (Amanda was an IDIOT!)
What does the PG-13 group have now?
Zac Efron alone cannot sing and dance them all the way to college. I have seen “Camp Rock” more times than I care to admit, and I still can’t figure out which one is the “cute” Jonas Brother. And the stuff in theaters, like the stuff on the radio, is mostly the imagination of producers, leaving little up to that of the audience.
Maybe it’s just the times.
I mean, nowadays, Cameron’s parents would never own a Ferrari – and a teenager – without owning GPS. There’s no way Ferris could have taken it joy-riding in Downtown Chicago without getting caught. And today’s helicopter parents, along with the ACLU, have done away with weekend detention, putting it in the same class as waterboarding, only an even bigger pain-in-the-ass, thereby eliminating any hope of a Breakfast Club hook-up. And Anthony Michael-Hall and that other guy would never let a hottie like Kelly LeBrock shut down without pre-programming her to seal the deal in today’s world.
Everything seems to have changed since then. Kids conjugate “google” and “text” as if they were verbs. They don’t use “hairspray” anymore, they use “product.” And they have never looked anything up in an encyclopedia.
It would almost seem as if they don’t even need him. Maybe John Hughes and his genius that took an entire generation on vacation (both to Wally World and abroad, on planes, trains, AND automobiles) would only be wasted on the rising teens so clouded by political correctness that “No more wankie my yankie” would more likely stir a petition than a chuckle at Long Duk Dong’s expense.
It would seem that way, yes, but deep down I believe a few universal truths from the ‘80’s have not changed, which is why I would like to see a John Hughes film study added to the curriculum of every junior high and high school in America. (Mauger, can you take care of that, please?) Because…
- Each one of us is a brain… and an athlete… and a basket case… a princess… and a criminal.
- If you give off signals that you don’t want to belong, people will make sure that you don’t.
- And, yup, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in awhile, you might miss it.