This Week’s Top Five: John Hughes Movies

In honor of John Hughes’ passing, we at Matterful extend this obituary in shout-out form to a man whom we will never forget.



1. Pretty in Pink
A wholly classic treatise on what it was like to be from ‘the other side of the tracks,’ 1980s suburban-style. I identified with Andy, played by Hughes muse Molly Ringwald, although she was considerably more fashionable with her individualistic chic-shab wardrobe than I was in mine, most likely mall-bought and peer-inspired. She stood up for herself against the likes of James Spader as Steff who was so perfectly cast as the jilted prep asshole–his role pivotal to the conflict in the movie. I had a crush on Andrew McCarthy who played Blane (come on, his name is BLANE!) but I have always wanted to be Steff’s party gal. Damn that cocky 18 year old!

Don’t even get me started on the soundtrack. 

2. Some Kind of Wonderful
Again, another story of the not-really-homely-but-unlikely girl getting her guy. Hughes pumped up the street smarts making Mary Stuart Masterson a bad-ass percussionist who says things like this about her man: “You break his heart, I break your face.” I’d pine after those diamond earrings too, girl. 

3. The Breakfast Club
The opening quote I had written on a folder in high school:
“And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations, they are quite aware of what they are going through.”  -David Bowie

4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Matthew Broderick at his cheekiest, Charlie Sheen at his sexiest, Jennifer Grey as Jennifer Grey, and Cameron figures out Seurat.

5. Sixteen Candles
I think it’s how I learned about menstrual cramps and pain killers. And foreign exchange students. I also think it’s how I became delusional about the boys I thought I’d meet in high school. Thanks, Jake Ryan.



1. Pretty in Pink
I have watched this movie too many times to recount (just re-watched it for my birthday this past February). And I think one of the best qualities of John Hughes films are his characters. You not only care about Andy, the female heroine who was vintage hip (before New York boutiqued it) and smart, but also her loving father, her richy-rich but nice guy boyfriend, her eccentric and hilarious employer and of course her “adorable,” doting, Otis Redding-singing best friend. I love this movie for all these characters as well as the clothes, the amazing soundtrack that uses New Order to such outstanding effect and of course the Mondrian posters which hang in Andy’s room.

2. The Breakfast Club
Honest, heartbreaking, funny, weird, and awkward. And once again Molly, thanks for teaching me how to dance.

3. Sixteen Candles
Definitely the funniest John Hughes film.

4. Some Kind of Wonderful
Made us all believe your boy best friend could one day be your boyfriend.

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Such wonderful scenes of living in Chicago. I especially love the moments in the Art Institute, but I am an art nerd.



1. Some Kind of Wonderful
I used to identify so much with Mary Stuart Masterson’s character. Even when I watch the film nowadays, my heart still breaks constantly for her.

2. Vacation
I still do the “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!” clap that Chevy Chase does right before he goes swimming with Christie Brinkley.

3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This film is filled with so many genius moments. And who doesn’t love Charlie Sheen as the bad boy in the police station?!

4. Career Opportunities
It has always been one of my fantasies to get locked in a department store overnight (another reason why I love the movie Mannequin so much too). I also have a weird crush on Frank Whaley.

5. Pretty in Pink
I only love this movie for Duckie. If any boy did that Otis impersonation for me, I would marry him on the spot. This movie is hard for me to watch, though. I find myself screaming at the TV anytime it is on. For one, every girl I know would choose Duckie over Blane (what kind of name is that anyways?!). Secondly, that potato sack of a dress Molly Ringwald wears at the end drives me up the wall. It is the most ill-fitting dress ever conceived. If she made that for herself, wouldn’t you think she would have tailored it better?

home alone


1. Pretty in Pink
I mean it may get the top rating for Annie Potts’ wardrobe (and hair!) alone. But let’s not kid ourselves about why we really love this movie. Two words: James. Spader. Bonus Wikipedia fun fact: Anthony Michael Hall was originally cast as Phil “Duckie” Dale, but turned the role down, fearing being typecast as a “geek.” John Hughes tried later with Robert Downey Jr. for the part of Duckie. However, he wanted a relatively unknown Jon Cryer for the part, and Cryer was cast.

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A. Charlie Sheen.
B. “My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night.”
C. Jennifer grey’s old nose.

3. Home Alone
I may be the only one who put this one in my top 5. I was 7 when this movie came out and it was so totally up my alley. I hope Macaulay can stage a big comeback sometime soon; he’s still cute.

4. The Breakfast Club
I feel obligated to put this one on even though the dance scene still makes me embarrassed. Amazing original song: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.

5. Sixteen Candles
John Cusack is a stud. Even when he is a nerd.


3 responses to “This Week’s Top Five: John Hughes Movies

  1. mine #1 is breakfast club. and, the real john hughes here:

  2. wow, mariela, that was a really great blog post. i have missed john hughes in my life and it is sad to know there will not be any future hughes gems. thank god for dvds and downloads!

  3. The stories about how awesome John Hughes was are coming out of the woodwork. It really makes one even more sad about losing this wonderful man.

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