John Hughes – Power of Idealism

prettyinpink-etbscreenwritingJohn Hughes died today at age 59. His movies Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club are iconic Coming of Age Films. Below are some great quotes from these two films and why this particular dialogue represents the emotional power of this kind of story.

I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.  Andie Walsh 
(Molly Ringwald) in 
Pretty in Pink


john-bender-breakfast-club-etbscreenwritingRichard Vernon: You’re not fooling anyone, Bender. The next screw that falls out will be you.

John Bender: Eat my shorts.

Richard Vernon: What was that?

John Bender: Eat… My… Shorts.

Richard Vernon: You just bought yourself another Saturday.

John Bender: Ooh, I’m crushed.

Richard Vernon: You just bought one more.

John Bender: Well I’m free the Saturday after that. Beyond that, I’m going to have to check my calendar.

Richard Vernon: Good, cause it’s going to be filled. We’ll keep going. You want another one? Just say the word say it. Instead of going to prison you’ll come here. Are you through?

John Bender: No.

Richard Vernon: I’m doing society a favor.

John Bender: So?

Richard Vernon: That’s another one right now! I’ve got you for the rest of your natural born life if you don’t watch your step. You want another one?

John Bender: Yes.

Richard Vernon: You got it! You got another one right there! That’s another one pal!

Claire Standish: Cut it out!

Richard Vernon: You through?

John Bender: Not even close bud!

Richard Vernon: Good! You got one more right there!

John Bender: You really think I give a shit?

Richard Vernon: Another! You through?

John Bender: How many is that?

Brian Johnson: That’s seven including when we first came in and you asked Mr. Vernon whether Barry Manilow knew that he raided his closet.

Richard Vernon: Now it’s eight. You stay out of this.

Brian Johnson: Excuse me sir, it’s seven.

John Bender (Judd Nelson) Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) in The Breakfast Club

Andie Walsh and John Bender are Power of Idealism characters. Young Power of Idealism characters play the role of the rebel, the romantic, the outsider, the iconoclast, the artist, or the maverick. They are the angry young man or the passionate young woman in a Coming of Age Film.

These characters struggle to grow up, distinguish themselves as individuals and find their place in a world where they just don’t seem to fit. They wrestle with the question of how to fit into an established society that always values conformity, cooperation and continuity over what is challenging, new or different.

Adults want to impose discipline, counsel moderation and contentment with one’s lot in life and urge conformity to the traditional norms. But adolescence is defined by an intense longing to burn brightly, change and challenge the world and follow one’s own destiny regardless of the risk or cost. Both of the iconic films written by John Hughes are perfect examples of Coming of Age Stories.

This is from The New York Times— It’s a spot on description of the Power of Idealism Coming of Age character.

“Molly Ringwald, the ginger-haired teenager who, from 1984 to 1986, was for Mr. Hughes what James Stewart had been for Frank Capra at the end of the Great Depression, and what Anna Karina had been for Jean-Luc Godard in the mid-’60s: an emblem, a muse, a poster child and an alter ego. Especially in Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink (directed by Howard Deutch from Mr. Hughes’s script), she represented his romantic ideal of the artist as misfit, sensitive and misunderstood, aspiring to wider acceptance but reluctant to compromise too much.”

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