With all due respect to the late John Hughes, his movies didnt define 80s adolescence any more than Gidget spoke for the Beat Generation. (Look no further than the princess makeover of Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Clubthe virulently non-Hughes Heathers got closer to the surly mood of the decade by pretty much reversing the process on Winona Ryder.) Much more than the artificial repackaging of 50s teen dreams that made Hughes a brand name, this jazzy 1986 wish-fulfillment fantasy of high-school hooky is how we prefer to honor his memory. Perfectly cast as a twinkly truant who exerts Mensa-caliber creativity to slack off, Matthew Broderick gives off enough blithe star wattage to power Con Ed; as his foil, wizardly character actor Jeffrey Jones is to the stuffed-shirt principal what Die Hards Alan Rickman is to the suave terrorist mastermindthe unsurpassable ultimate in a stock role. Watch for Ben Stein explaining the Laffer Curve, Abe Froman (the Sausage King of Chicago), and the first flowering of the comic genius of Charlie Sheen.
Fri., Nov. 6; Sat., Nov. 7, 2009