A blog about GenX just isn’t complete without mentioning John Hughes films.
Love him or hate him, Hughes was a film maker that successfully captured the hearts and spirits of many Generation X’ers. Even the most anti establishment cliché hating of my group, still manage to be stopped in their tracks when Ferris Bueller or the Breakfast Club comes on TV on a Saturday morning. The recent Oscar tribute (skip to 2:05 for the actual tribute) to Hughes was admittedly awkward, but the emotion it evoked in this X’er has had me reminiscing all week. It has also had me thinking about how quintessential X characters like Ferris Bueller frame how we work and live today.
The famous line from Ferris Bueller’s Day off “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” articulates our deep desire to balance life and work. Meanwhile, Ferris tapped into our wish to stop playing by the rules and captured our value for cool misbehavior. And who hasn’t sat in a meeting listening to someone drone on and on and recognize some familiarity in Ben Stein’s monotone voice saying “Bueller…Bueller..” and asked yourself, why didn’t I just pull a Ferris today?
Our fear of abandoning our values, ideals and falling into conformity is emotionally spoken by Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club…. “When you get older your heart dies”. Not just a romantic Peter Pan moment but a verbalization of fear that someday, we will do what our parents did and just work for the man. Ally’s character also depicts my generations hidden hope to change the world, in a quiet and unassuming way.
So for all you die-hard Hughes fans who can’t get enough….a movie montage for you….
And in case you need my permission to pull a Ferris day, I say do it.