Variety is reporting that John Hughes has passed away at the age of 59. Hughes was the man responsible for writing and directing some of the defining films of the teen genre and, without question, of the ’80s: “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” not to mention comedy “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”
The last film Hughes directed was 1991’s “Curly Sue” — not what one would describe as a success — a few years after which he pretty much withdrew from the public eye and returned to the Midwest, continuing to write screenplays and occasionally act as a producer. His last credit is as the originator of the story for “Drillbit Taylor,” under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes.
Of his films, “The Breakfast Club” will always come first in my heart, but it’s “Bueller” that seems the richer text. At least, no other film in Hughes oeuvre has inspired anything like the the “Fight Club” theory:
My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the “Fight Club” theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.
One day while he’s lying sick in bed, Cameron lets “Ferris” steal his father’s car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the “three” characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day — Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.
Wrap your head around that. And R.I.P., Mr. Hughes.
[Photo: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Paramount Pictures, 1986]