You can quote lines from Sixteen Candles (“Last night at the dancemy little brother paid a buck to see your underwear”), your iPod playlist includes more than one song by the Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds, you watch The Breakfast Club every time it comes on cable, and you still wish that Andie had ended up with Duckie in Pretty in Pink. You’re a bonafide Brat Pack devotee—and you’re not alone.
The films of the Brat Pack—from Sixteen Candles to Say Anything—are some of the most watched, bestselling DVDs of all time. The landscape that the Brat Packmemorialized—where outcasts and prom queens fall in love, preppies and burn-outs become buds, and frosted lip gloss, skinny ties, and exuberant optimism made us feel invincible—is rich with cultural themes and significance, and has influenced an entire generation who still believe that life always turns out the way it is supposed to.
You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried takes us back to that era, interviewing key players, such as Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, and John Cusack, and mines all the material from the movies to the music to the way the films were made to show how they helped shape our visions for romance, friendship, society, and success.
The phrase was coined by David Blum in the headline Hollywood s Brat Pack, heralding his cover story for the June 10, 1985, issue of New York magazine with its cover photo of Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Judd Nelson. The label stuck, Gora notes, and extended to describe other actors: Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, and Anthony Michael Hall. A former editor at Premiere, Gora guides the reader through the creation of the teen cinema of the 1980s, described by the American Film Institute as the cultural phenomenon which helped make us what we are today. To recall the era, she interviewed two dozen actors, plus the directors and producers behind the Brat Pack s memorable movies, including The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo s Fire and Ferris Bueller s Day Off. As Gora sees it, The films changed the way many young people looked at everything from class distinction to friendship, from love and sex to fashion and music. Writer-director John Hughes s ability to capture adolescent angst is highlighted. The 1980s youth films maintain their popularity on TV and DVDs, and Gora gives them near-encyclopedic, comprehensive coverage.
If it were cheaper I would definitely buy it, like maybe 4.99. But 11.99? I could buy an album for that price!
Really captures the essence of John Hughes
I grew up in Northbrook, Illinois (aka Shermerville) and have always kept my memories around the set of Ferris, Home Alone and Sixteen Candles near and dear to my heart. I was quite pleased with the book on all levels as it brought me back to my HS years. Susannah Gora truly captured the essence of the influence of John Hughes' films in the 80's and 90's. I can't recall the last time I read a book that kept me intrigued and interested page after page to the point I couldn't put my iPad down.
John Hughes is an icon that will not doubt be missed and this book is a wonderful testament to his outstanding achievements in both cinema and society overall. Well done.
Memory Lane never felt so good
This is a wonderful book, full of my memories but written by someone else. Because those of us that grew up with these films all have these same memories and wouldn’t trade them for the world.