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I’m Karen, a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ’80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. An early preoccupation with Rock ‘n’ Roll led me to spend my twenties working my way from intern to executive in the music industry. Now I’m a married mom of two, and instead of staying up late in rock clubs, I get up before dawn and write sexy contemporary romance starring hot heroes, served fresh.
More John Hughes love from author/journalist/Duranie supreme Suzi Parker. She’s the first person to bring up Weird Science, which my little sister used to call Weird Sinus. Cute, no?
Favorite John Hughes film: Well, you start with a tough question, don’t you? I would still have to say Sixteen Candles. It was my first John Hughes love affair.
And the runner-up, because let’s be honest—it’s hard to pick one: The Breakfast Club
Favorite moment of hilarity in a John Hughes film: The entire film Weird Science. I love that movie so much. It ranks as a very close second just because it is so cooly goofy. And it has Robert Downey, Jr. in it. Forever my crush but we won’t go there.
Favorite poignant teenage moment in a John Hughes film: It would have to be when Jake Ryan comes to Sam Baker’s house looking for her. At that moment, every teenage girl cell in me squealed because you knew the good girl might get the guy she truly desires.
Best use of music in a John Hughes film: The Thompson Twins If You Were Here in Sixteen Candles with Jake Ryan. What teenage girl didn’t want a birthday cake with that guy with some British new wave band playing in the background? I still want to play that scene out…
Character in a John Hughes film that you most identify with and why: Andie Walsh, the misfit thrift-store fashionista who likes the rich, snooty guy she shouldn’t like. She is so much like me on so many levels except I had two parents where Andie had one but her love life was/is so much like mine. And yes, I’ve had a Duckie or two in my life, too.
Not to sound like a geezer, but why don’t they make movies like this anymore? Because they don’t have Karen Booth and Suzi Parker writing them!
Suzi Parker is a journalist for Daily Beast, Economist, and The Broad Side. She’s the author of Echo Ellis, Sex in the South, and 1000 Best Bartender’s Recipes. She’s also a Jedi and Duran Duran ambassador. Check out Echo Ellis: Adventures of a Girl Reporter.
In the second installment of John Hughes Fan Club, one of my closest author friends, Karen Stivali joins us! Karen delves deeper into the John Hughes archives than I did, which is awesome. I’m way too fixated on his teen movies. I admit it, fully. One epic teen moment she does touch on is the kiss in Some Kind of Wonderful. Sigh.
Karen Stivali, Author
Favorite John Hughes film: Some Kind Of Wonderful
And the runner-up, because let’s be honest—it’s hard to pick one: Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
Favorite moment of hilarity in a John Hughes film: I don’t think I can pick just one. Probably something from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, or Uncle Buck or Mr. Mom. As goofy as those movies are and as many times I’ve watched them, they still make me laugh.
Favorite poignant teenage moment in a John Hughes film: The “practice kiss” between Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson in Some Kind Of Wonderful, where she tells him “No, you’re good.” It’s no secret that I’ve always been a sucker for friends to lovers stories and that kiss…*sigh*…because it still takes the rest of the movie for them to actually get together even after the ridiculous hotness of that kiss.
Best use of music in a John Hughes film: Don’t You Forget About Me in The Breakfast Club will always be the first song that comes to mind whenever I think about John Hughes films. Can’t hear that song without thinking about Judd Nelson walking across that field with one diamond stud in his ear.
Note: I do also love the Ferris Beuller parade float scene where he’s singing Twist and Shout and I love the soundtrack to Pretty In Pink.
Character in a John Hughes film that you most identify with and why: I think all John Hughes characters are relatable and that’s why people find his movies so comforting to watch. If I had to pick one character I’d probably go with the Ally Sheedy character in The Breakfast Club. I was definitely “that weird girl” in the eyes of a lot of people in my high school and I carried a massive purse full off all sorts of crazy things. She definitely reminds me of myself in school.
Not to sound like a geezer, but why don’t they make movies like this anymore? Not to sound like a film snob, but I’m glad they don’t. John Hughes films were part of the era and they’re still here for new generations to watch. I don’t think anyone should try to be “like” him. There are filmmakers making movies that speak more directly to young people today and, thanks to NetFlix and on-demand they can experience older classics like John’s movies anytime they want. Some Hughes films are more dated than others, but most hold up well because they dealt with struggles that all humans face—wanting to belong, feeling inadequate or unsure of themselves, dealing with bullies or annoying siblings or parents who just don’t understand, trying to juggle family responsibilities, trying to make holidays or vacations run smoothly—these are timeless themes and no one needs to or should try to copy them. They should refer people to the originals to keep his work alive.
Karen Stivali is a multi-published author of m/f and m/m contemporary romance. Check out MOMENTS IN TIME, a collection of coming of age stories that follow Collin and Tanner’s journey as they explore their first serious relationship together and make their way toward their HEA. You can find out more about Karen at karenstivali.com.