RIP John Hughes: 'Our Generation's Salinger'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2009 8:24 PM CDT
John Hughes in 1984.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Long live John Hughes, writes Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. The director died "ridiculously young" today at 59, but he leaves an "unparalleled" legacy. "It was hard not to see a piece of ourselves in his films, especially his great '80s teen comedies, which seemed to have a direct pipeline into the depths of the angst-ridden teenage soul." Goldstein hunts up an old article of his in which he found similar sentiments among some of today's top filmmakers:

  • Judd Apatow: "Hughes wrote some of the great outsider characters of all time. ... Whether it's Freaks and Geeks or Superbad, the whole idea of having outsiders as lead characters, that all started with Hughes."
  • Kevin Smith: "He's our generation's JD Salinger. He touched a generation and then the dude checked out. ... Basically my stuff is just John Hughes films with four-letter words.
  • David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers): I especially loved Planes, Trains and Automobiles. ... That argument between Steve Martin and John Candy in the motel is pitch-perfect. It's the great thing about Hughes' films. He made them for himself, but when you're watching them, you always feel that he made them especially for you."