Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lovesick Blog-a-Thon: Damn You John Hughes

Growing up, I loved John Hughes movies. Still do. But they screwed me up, man.

The beautiful Prom Queen doesn't wake up in the arms of the geek she's never paid attention to and immediately fall in love. There are no settings pretty enough, no parents willing enough, no tables strong enough, no clothing flame-retardant enough for me to celebrate my 16th birthday or my 36th which is actually today. But Sixteen Candles made me believe it could happen.

I cannot make a Kelly LeBrock hottie from my computer that shows me some love, makes me overcome all my short-comings, makes me popular and then hands me off to another hottie more my age. But Weird Science made me hope it could happen.

But the truth is, it doesn't. Life rarely provides you with a nice little bow in which to wrap things up. Things are much more complicated than that. But that's why we go to the movies. To see the perfect ending. To forget our troubles for at least an hour and a half. And while I'm jaded and skeptical about movies, I do so much love the perfect ending.The long shot of Sam kissing Jake over the cake. Of Ferris kissing Sloane in front of a piece of art in The Chicago Art Institute. It is far-fetched sure, but it is what I want to believe could happen. So simple, so peaceful, so perfect.

But that's movies. And this is life. And in life I have no Hollywood perfect moments. But I do have perfect moments. I have the seconds in-between my children hitting one another or yelling for us to get a glass of juice where I can kiss the small of my wife's neck and smell the baby-powder she wears and then remember that exact smell the first time I kissed her in her apartment and how wonderful that was and still is and how lucky I am to have found my partner in life. One that I love and makes me feel so loved. Granted, we were not silhouetted against a perfectly lit piece of artwork, but it was perfect.

I also have two children that when they don't make me crazy because they're not listening, or pinching too much, or not pooping when they should, amaze me with something they say or something they do and for that moment everything is perfect and I love my children so much it scares me because if I lost them I could not live. Granted, there was no perfect soundtrack playing underneath us, but the moment was still perfect.

It's taken some years and a few ramblings such as this, but I have gotten over my John Hughes complex and accepted life as it really is. Time made up of perfect moments poorly lit and slightly botched by mediocre dialogue by a less than photogenic man who must be the nephew of the director because why the hell else would he be cast in this. But perfect moments, nonetheless.

You can find the Lovesick Blog-a-Thon at 100 films.


Lucas said...

this is fantastic, Piper.

i think all of us have this innate desire to have our lives mimic the movies, but when we realize they can be successful without doing do, then we've really got something (this is, of course, easier said than done)

Jo Custer said...

and then there are those of us who would like to, for a change, have one movie that mimics our real life...i'm probably in the minority on that one, though

what a great post! even though John Hughes didn't define my formative years...the only one I saw before college was Ferris Bueller's Day Off. No complaints.

...but, yeah, that definitely never happened ;)

Anonymous said...

Happy Non-Cinematic Birthday!

sammyray said...

Awww .. Piper! Love the article!

Happy Valentine's Day to ya!! :)

cheepcheep said...

John Hughes makes me feel the same way.

This post made me feel less anxious about life. Happy Birthday!

Damian Arlyn said...

Great post about the differences (and similarities) between life and the movies. I think you are absolutely right in that life can have perfect moments that aren't necessarily "cinematic." I've had a few in my time as well.

Incidentally, I was also a huge fan of Hughes in the 80's. Some of his films seem terribly dated now but a few (particularly Ferris Beuller's Day Off and Planes, Trains and Automobiles) hold up very well. Ferris Beuller is still one of my all-time favorite films (I even wrote a brief blog about it a couple days ago).

UrbanGroove said...

Happy Birthday Peeps!

FYI - to all the blog fans out there, I know the woman of whom he speaks. Yes, she really is quite wonderful in a real life way, which, actually, trumps the cinematic edge. And ahhh the kiddos. Such great little people they are, and such great grown people they will be.

Maybe we can all hope for just one, fleeting, cinematic moment in our lives. Yes, I heard the soundtrack, and had fabulous lighting. How beautiful to hold onto that memory.

PIPER said...

Thanks everyone. My flight got delayed in Dallas and I was able to write it while waiting for my plane. I had been travelling all day and hadn't had a chance to check up on 100 films to see the blog a thon. When I did, I started frantically writing.

Lucas did a great thing with this Blog A Thon.

It was also a way for me to write somewhat of a love letter to my wife on Valentines Day. I'm such a multi-tasker.

Lucas said...

oh well-done...a blog-a-thon entry and a Valentine's Day very sly ;)

Anonymous said...


Dana said...

Contratulations Piper,

You might be the first person in history to combine a heartfelt (and much deserved) love letter to his wife and a list of "...pantiless" moments.

Happy Birthday