John Hughes unfortunate untimely death was reported in the news yesterday, may God rest his soul. The televised reports have consistently said that he will most be remembered for his coming-of-age teen movies of the 80’s, but it’s not those films that I will remember him for. Rather, I will remember him for the travel adventure comedies.
Today, the focus of comedy films seems to be complete irreverence, innuendo and blatant raunchiness. It’s not say that John Hughes films didn’t deal with adult themes, they did, but it was delivered in a more meaningful way, not for the shock value. His movies were goal driven and commonly featured a destination that seemed nearly impossible to get to due to all the obstacles thrown in along the way. By the end of the movie the goal has been reached and viewers are left with a positive heartwarming experience.
One of my all-time favorite comedy movies, whom he wrote, produced and directed is Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring Steve Martin and the late John Candy. The film not only was full of humor but it had a lot of heart which is hard to find in today’s Hollywood comedies. The film starts out with a man, Neal (Steve Martin), trying to get home for Thanksgiving who runs into an obnoxious traveling curtain ring salesman, Del (John Candy), who takes it upon himself to help Neal get home. Neal goes from being a mild-mannered businessman to an enraged lunatic because he can’t seem to get away from accident prone Del no matter what he tries. In the end, Neal finds out Del was really a lonely man with nowhere to go and he invites Del to thanksgiving with his family.
Other notable films from John Hughes for me were: