Archives for posts with tag: John Hughes

Meet the new kids. Same as the old kids. Having been a teen during the Golden Age of Teen Movies, I consider myself a connoisseur of teen movies. John Hughes would be proud of “Booksmart” (2019). Two nerdish girls who abstained from fun for the sake of high school achievement find out the day before graduation they could have had just as much gain without all the pain. BTW, there’s a big, unsupervised graduation party that night. Cue the hijinks. Director Olivia Wilde creates perfect cinematic stasis, bringing in sudden comic weirdness every time things get serious, and vice versa.

There are some who enjoy the cinematic combination of scriptwriter John Hughes and actor John Candy. I am not one of them. I believe Hughes’ most forgettable films star Candy. The absolute worst might be “The Great Outdoors” (1988). Family-man Candy takes brood on vacation, sleazy brother-in-law Dan Aykroyd barges in, hijinks ensue. Meh. Actually, it’s worse than meh, because the hijinks are compounded by a plot twist you could see coming from a mile away and subplots involving puppy love and kids in danger that seem like leftovers from “The Brady Bunch” It’s Aykroyd and Hughes at their laziest.

Round up all the things I don’t like about John Hughes movies (the uberbitchy teenage girl, John Candy, Macaulay Culkin), put them together and you get “Uncle Buck” (1989). This is not part of Hughes’ “funny” (“Sixteen Candles”) film collection. This is part of his “pathos” (“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”) collection. Candy basically performs an over-the-top version of “Charles in Charge” so Culkin and his siblings don’t have to be “Home Alone” while their parents are away. The film’s heart is in the right place, and there’s a few funny moments, but it doesn’t measure up to Hughes’ better films.