Top Five Greatest John Hughes Teen Movies


If you were in the vicinity of Dolores Park on Saturday night, you may have noticed a bunch of people braving crappy weather to watch 1984 teen classic, Sixteen Candles in the park. The screening was no accident -- today marks the three-year anniversary of the sadly premature death of director John Hughes: a man who captured more teenage angst and joy and romance on film than any other movie maker in history.

Sure, Hughes made a career out of well-rounded comedies and family movies (see: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Home Alone, Uncle Buck, and the National Lampoon's Vacation series) but he'll be remembered most fondly for the way he acutely understood what made the American teenager tick -- their needs, their wants, their oft-painful (but still party-ridden) transition into adulthood, and the perils of the time. So, in his honor, we're going to take a look back on John Hughes' top five greatest teen movie moments.

5. Weird Science
Not a feminist favorite, granted, but Weird Science is so completely ridiculous from start to finish that it's difficult to get mad about. Kelly LeBrock is Lisa: every teenage boy's fantasy and created from scratch by two nerds in a bedroom wearing jock straps on their heads. She teaches them how to be cool and reckless, she takes showers with them, she takes on parents on their behalf and she takes them out to bars. Of course it's hugely offensive, but it captures 1985 frivolity and teen boy fantasies so humorously, we still love this.   

4. Sixteen Candles
The first of John Hughes' truly exceptional teen movies came in 1984 -- a time so politically incorrect, a movie about a girl having her 16th birthday forgotten by everyone around her could feature nudity, offensive portrayals of Asians, teen girl underwear removal, non-judgmental underage intoxication, and a fair amount of cursing (including the 'F' word). Molly Ringwald is charming in the lead role as Sam, John and Joan Cusack make very funny, very-youthful appearances, and Michael Schoeffling as Jake Ryan remains a teen dream. If Weird Science is the ultimate teen boy fantasy, then the end of this is the ultimate teen girl one.

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