Friday, September 7, 2012

My Debt to John Hughes

One of my favorite reviews of The Deathday Letter was on in which the reviewer mentioned being able to virtually hear the swell of 80's music playing in the background at the end.

I'm pretty sure the reviewer was ribbing me over the somewhat fairytalesque nature of the ending in regards to Ollie's relationship with Ronnie, but I took it as a compliment.  How could I not?  I grew up with Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and The Breakfast Club.

The first time I watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I was sitting with my father on a weekend.  Saturday, Sunday, who was just a lazy day.  I couldn't have been but maybe 12.  As the credits rolled and everything came together for Ferris, my father said something along the lines of, "things never work out that way in real life."  It was a very fatherly thing to say, and quite true.  But that didn't stop me from dreaming of how wonderful my life could be.

John Hughes' movies were the gateway drugs to my dreams.  A world where the jock is more than a meathead, the princess more than a spoiled brat, the loser gets the girl, and the geek is a god.  A world where bad things happen but they only lead to greater self-realizations.  A world where everyone is someone and worthy of more.

I know that movies and TV and literature have all become darker and more real, and I appreciate that.  Margie Gelbwasser's books are some of the most devastatingly real stories I've ever read, and they're amazing.  But I feel like there's room for happy endings too.

No matter how dark my books get, I don't think I'll ever be able to stop looking for those happy endings.  I'll never stop trying to pull back the corners to find the truth behind the stereotypes.  I don't think I can help myself.  John Hughes showed us a world that I want to live in, and I can only hope that others want to join me there.

And if not...well then I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby.


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.