Calista’s Cinema Conversations: John Hughes films


I was re-watching “The Breakfast Club” with my roommate and we started talking about some of our favorite aspects of movies from director John Hughes. That inspired this week’s conversation about some of the best films from 1980-1990s director, producer and screenwriter John Hughes.

Of course, the iconic film “The Breakfast Club” is a great place to start the conversation. As an audience member, you are able to relate to at least one of the characters because the unique cast is meant to portray the four “stereotypical” high school groups. The classic plot teaches an important lesson about not judging people who are different from you because, in the end, we all are trying to make it through the journey of life.

Another classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” is also a wonderful example of how an interesting group of characters and a simplistic plot can have an impact on pop culture. The film has such a “live-in-the-moment” attitude that it’s hard not to smile as you watch Bueller’s antics throughout a day of skipping school.

Romantic comedies like “Pretty in Pink” and “Sixteen Candles,” though slightly problematic by today’s ideas of sexism and body shaming, have some of the most memorable and arguably, copied plots. Both films focus on an unpopular girl who overlooks the affection of an unpopular friend in order to pursue a cool, unattainable romantic interest. Molly Ringwald, a member of the “Brat Pack” and well known for starring in a handful of Hughes movies, is the protagonist in both of the films and plays a sassy and misunderstood high schooler.

Iconic comedies like the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movies and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” steer away from the high school setting to focus on traveling. While “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” looks at the two main character’s interactions while trying to get back home for the holidays, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” observes a family as they travel halfway across the country to their vacation destination.

Other memorable Hughes’ films include the family-friendly Christmas movie “Home Alone” and the science fiction comedy “Weird Science.” Besides the occasional 80s humor, each film has a fun and uncommon plot that you can watch over and over again.

Although some of Hughes’ concepts are controversial, his films have a timelessness that is hard to find with other directors. If you’re looking for a fun movie night to watch your first Hughes’ film or to just to rewatch one of your favorites, many of his films are now on Netflix.

Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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