The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

All I needed to know I learned from John Hughes movies

I was the perfect age for John Hughes movies from the 80’s. It perfectly blended candy colored teen angst and the slightly sophisticated (and sometimes suggestive) humor that fit the 80’s teen sensibility like a glove of understanding.

Teenage, that wonderful time in life when you’re know everything and your parents are idiots, before the bitter shot of adulthood reverses that belief. At least the me knowing everything part. Free of bills, jobs and rent, we could marinate in our ennui full time. Believing that our first love might be our last love and everything we did in high school was going to be on our permanent record. That was the canvas that John Hughes painted on, broad and heavy handed, but like no one else.

Everybody had a character that they most related to. For me, I wanted to be Ferris Bueller, but I was really more like Ducky from Pretty in Pink. I knew it years before I even saw it. I had missed it during it’s original theatrical run, but I heard from people that caught it that he was EXACTLY like me. As was my style at the time, it kept me from seeing it for years after, until I graduated high school. When I did, I could see what they were talking about. He was smart, but not as smart as he thought he was, or as cute as he though he was. It was like looking in a friggin mirror.

The comparison dogged my into my 20’s until I lost my hair. It happened so often that I started carrying a piece of paper that had “Jon Cryer, ‘Ducky’ from Pretty in Pink” written on it in my wallet. When someone would say, “Do you know who you remind me of?” I’d pull out the paper, and show it to them.
“Oh my God, How did you know?”

These days I relate most to the snotty waiter in Ferris Bueller because I too, “weep for the future”.

Some Kind of Wonderful, the last one of these, fucking pissed me off. The fact that Eric Stoltz spent the entire movie chasing Lea Thompson while the sexy as hell Mary Stuart Masterson was right in front of him, adoring his pasty ass, infuriated me to no end. Dude, she’s fuckin’ hot AND plays the drums. The only drawback was her love of fringed fingerless gloves but her obvious charm made it easy to overlook.

I got into a ginormous argument with my roommate at the time about my Mary Stuart-centricity. He said, “You must have a low-self opinion, you won’t even allow yourself to be attracted to the prettier girl.”
I countered, “As far as I’m concerned, I am.”

Anyway, the lessons, right.

1.If you live a life of abject conformity, rebellion is your key to happiness. (Molly Ringwald’s Clare hooking up with Judd Nelson’s Bender in the Breakfast Club/ the destruction of Cameron’s dad’s car in Ferris Bueller)

2.If you live a life of abject rebellion, conformity is your key to happiness. (Annie Potts in Pretty in Pink, Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club)

3. If you’re rich and popular, you’re an insufferable prick, obsessed with making members of the lower social strata feel like total shit. (James Spader in Pretty in Pink, Craig Sheffer in Some Kind of Wonderful, Robert Downey Jr and what’s his nuts in Weird Science)

4.Unless you’re surprisingly deep and complex. (Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles, Emilio Estevez in the Breakfast Club, Andrew McCarthy in Pretty in Pink)

5.Dating beyond the static boundries of the click and popularity is the only way we, as a society can move forward. (jeez, all of ‘um really)

6. Parents have no idea what you’re going through. (Again, all of them)

7. Even nerds get laid. (Do I have to say?)

1 comment:

debbie said...

interesting observations. as an 80s teen, i know all too well what you're talking about! heh. man, i love all those movies! you won't be surprised to know that dave was also constantly compared to ducky, though his was more a physical resemblance. hey, you didn't even mention the awesome soundtrack!