You Couldn t Ignore Me If You TriedAuthor Susannah GoraPublisher Crown PublishersPublished In New York City, NY Date 2010Pgs 367REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERSSummary The cultural touchstones of a generation of American teenagers, the Brat Pack movies and actors changed the fabric of understanding for many who thought they were on their own and that it was only happening to them John Hughes wrote the soul of the American teenager and put it onscreen for the world to see Outcasts, prom queens, preppies, burnouts, frosted lip gloss, skinny ties, and a feeling of invincibility Was it the last time a generation believed in happily ever after Genre Behind the ScenesCultureFilmHistoryMoviesNon fictionPhilosophySocietyTeenYoung AdultWhy this book I m a child of the era We all wanted to be Jake Ryan I wanted to be John Bender.Favorite Character As much as I wanted to say my favorite character here was John Hughes or Molly Ringwald, I can t They re both shown as people here More real than Hollywood usually likes people to be shown Same can be said about all of the eponymous pack.The Feel As I read this book, instead of thinking of the actors, movies, and plots, or even the timeframe, culture, and society, my brain is replaying the theme songs from these movies through my mind sear John Parr s St Elmo s Fire Man in Motion has been running on a loop in my head for way too long.Favorite Scene Gedde Watanabe s audition to play Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles where he showed up in character and stayed in character until the casters thought that he really had problems with the English language, making them believe that he was actually from Korea and that English was barely a second language to him And at the end, he reveals to them that he is from Utah.Molly Ringwald on John Hughes He was inspired by me, and I was, in turn, inspired by him And it was great I felt a bit that it was like Woody Allen and Diane Keaton I don t think that I ve worked with someone before or since, who I felt understood my strengths as well as John I just don t know if I am ever going to find the same thing with anyone else This is one of the saddest statements I ve ever read in light of John s having passed on in 2009.Mia Sara admitting that she threw herself at Matthew Broderick during the filming of Ferris shows on the screen You can see her real life crush there Real emotion trumps acting But good acting is awesome too Reportedly, Broderick rebuffed herrepeatedly And that you can t see in the acting.The pained awareness behind Ferris s monologues when he talks about the future.Plot Holes Out of Character Fast Times at Ridgemont High is given short to no shrift in this film Same with Valley Girl And a couple others besides I get that the amount of focus went to the Hughes films plus St Elmo s Fire, but the Brat Pack movies felt like than just these 7 films Though Fast Times is largely shafted here, mentioned in passing, Say Anything, also penned by Cameron Crowe, does get some love in the final chapters of the book.Hmm Moments John Hughes clacking along on a typewriter with a picture of 14 year old Molly Ringwald over his writing desk True, the script turned out to be Sixteen Candles Butisn t that a bit creepy Hughes was very in touch with his female teenager side He touched the teenage spirit in a way that movies hadn t previously But still Never knew that she inspired the actual character to that degree Interesting.Hughes channeled his inner teenage girl better than any director in living memory.So connected was Hughes to his young cast and his young characters that it seemed at times as if he were going for a do over of his own teenhood Of Hughes, mused Time s Richard Corliss, Who wouldn t grab the chance to remake one s adolescence Maybe that s what Hughes was aiming for And maybe there are some who would think that I d say F that The broody son of a bitch that I am today would hate the broody son of a bitch that I was back then.Never realized that it was during the filming of St Elmo s Fire that that name got hung on them Judd Nelson s feeling that that was a death knell of some kind is telling The moniker did seem to cheapen the massive talents involved.Love the casting stories that are included here.Being in the Brat Pack is like a venereal disease If someone made a movie with two of the people previously labelled as members, you became a member.David Blum s article in the New York Magazine that labelled them the Brat Pack was sarcastic and mean spirited Joel Schumacher, the director of St Elmo s Fire, saw Blum when he came to interview him as coming across like the guy who never got invited to the party and had finally found his lever and fulcrum to move the world Invited out for a night with the friends, he was shown a bunch of guys who may have been showing out trying to be impressive and he took it all to heart and inflated it and, then, conflated it with his personal dislikes So an article that was ostensibly about Emilio Estevez s budding career as an actor, writer, and director at 23 years oldand being Martin Sheen s son blew up into something else entirely.Pretty in Pink has always been my least favorite of the so called Brat Pack movies And now I know why The ending always struck me as out of character based on how the plot up to that point The original ending was supposed to be Cryer s and Ringwald s character dancing at prom as friends, but a test audience booed that ending And thus, the rewritten and filmed ending rehabilitating McCarthy s caddish character Always rang false to me And now, I know why.The similarities in plot between Pink and Wonderful may be because of the changed ending Hughes was trying to have the story that he actually wanted get to the screen rather than the focus group screened hero gets the girl, geek gets left out ending that Pink ended up with Some Kind of Wonderful felt derivative in another way too It re rung the bell at the museum from Buehler The author tries to make the argument, unsuccessfully, I believe, that the two movies while sharing thematic elements are sufficiently different The success of these movies lead to a derivative tidal wave of formulaic, lesser movies Many borrowing plot elements and, even, stars from other Brat Pack movies.Ringwald s manager, her mother, at that time, as the Brat Pack movies reached their nadir, passed on reading for Pretty Woman and Blue Velvet because they didn t meet Molly s image This was the era when Julie Andrews had just appeared topless in SOB C mon Molly s mismanaged career in this era lead reporters to characterize her as an actress who dithered over scripts, dithered over interviews, and came across as spoiled when she d tell reporters that the press wouldn t let her grow up naturally.John Hughes comes across as almost Peter Pan ish He was Ferris He was the characters played by Anthony Michael Hall, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, and Matthew Broderick, et al He channeled his friends and their experiences along with his own He was in touch with his inner 16 year old girl Hence, his understanding of Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, and his friendship with Sloane Tannen, his producer s teenage daughter, who he had extensive conversations with during the production of Ferris Bueller s Day Off She was the namesake of Bueller s girlfriend Sloane Peterson, making her one part Sloane Tannen and one part Hughes high school buddy Jackson Petersonat least in name In today s post Neverland Ranch, post Long Island Lolita world, we d make it into something unclean and tawdry His calling his producer s house to talk to Sloane instead of her dad would set off the squick alarm at high volume today Same with his relationship with Molly Ringwald during the filming of Candles, Club, and Pretty Looking at his results, he was telling the stories of young souls coming to maturity as the real world impugned itself on the fairy tale of High School and its princes and princesses, its trolls and fairies, its blurs and spiders, all its little monsters, all straining toward a better tomorrow that they don t understand.It s a shame that John didn t live long enough to make the high school reunion movies that would have brought some of these characters back to the screen later in life He made 4 Vacations and 3 Beethovens, and 4 Home Alonesand we still loved his movies Okayokaythe Vacations were good stuff.Ferris represented the first time that Hughes didn t really connect with his actors on the same level as on the previous movies This was the beginning of the end of Hughes pack movies even though he still had a few to go This was Hughes second graduation from High School.The behind the scenes stuff on Some Kind of Wonderful sounds like a colossal cluster.Hughes is portrayed here as having the classic you re dead to me attitude toward directors and actors who refused him Hughes along with some others tried to pressure Anthony Michael Hall to be Ferris thinking that his mother was pressuring him A 4 hour pressure meeting that after surviving it and still passing on the movie lead AMH to say of John Hughes in this book, He was my best friend Despite the label Brat Pack and its connotations, when you line up all the work that these actors have been involved in since the 80s, it s an impressive filmography Some got typecast into oblivion almost But some of them have taken part in a touchstone or three outside of the teen, youth, high school genre The book came out too far back to give credit to them, but Spader s turn on The Blacklist as Raymond Reddington and Robert Downey Jr s Tony Stark Iron Man are both awesome The coda hasn t been written on these actors careers Some of them will fade away but some will continue to pop up and flash their talent before us And I look forward to it.Not Another Teen Movie, SuperBad, and a host of fellow travellers are the generational children of John Hughes, Joel Schumacher, and the Brat Pack movies Last Page Sound Sad and good and depressing.Author Assessment Loved that Gora chose to reach back to the some of the cultural touchstones of the movies of my youth It s a little bit of knowing how the sausage is made though I love that the document was written And I enjoyed reading it But I do think differently about some of it now I would definitely read other stuff from Susannah Gora.Knee Jerk Reaction glad I read itDisposition of Book Wichita Falls Public Library600 11th StWichita Falls, TX 76301Dewey Decimal System 791.4302GORc.01Would recommend to genre fans Yeah, it s pure fluff, but it s pretty fun fluff to read.A very interesting look at the movies made or written by or merely influenced by John Hughes and the so called Brat Pack actors The specific films that are heavily profiled are Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, St Elmo s Fire, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller s Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Say Anything It also talks about the article where the Brat Pack label came from and the music in the films.I actually don t remember seeing many of these movies in theaters, although I think I ve seen most of them on video But there s no denying their outsize influence The book is perhaps a bit longer than it needed to be and is occasionally repetitive , but it goes into a lot of depth philosophically as well as historically And while Gora seems to be in love with her subject, it s still well written and avoids being gushy Basically, a really fun read that makes me want to re watch all those movies again. You Can Quote Lines From Sixteen CandlesLast Night At The Dance, My Little Brother Paid A Buck To See Your Underwear , Your IPod Playlist Includes 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 AloneThe 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 This book looks at 80s teen movies, including many John Hughes movies The book takes the reader behind the scenes in the movies and we learn about the actors, as well as John Hughes and the other directors There are chapters on Sixteen Candles , The Breakfast Club , St Elmo s Fire , Pretty in Pink , Ferris Bueller s Day Off , Some Kind of Wonderful , and Say Anything.What a fun book for someone who was a teenager in the 80s me I ve seen all but two of the movies and now feel like I should see those two Many of the actors were part of what became labelled the Brat Pack , based on an article written that was originally meant to be about Emilio Estevez, but became about a group of them who were out together one night To be honest, I d not even realized the phrase was meant at the time to be derogatory I never read the article, nor had I realized that s even where the term originated So, I did learn plenty about the actors and the movies I also want to go back and re watch some of the movies I ve already seen My favourites were Pretty in Pink I love Duckie and Some Kind of Wonderful. This is a must read for anyone who loved the great teen movies from the 1980 s like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller s Day Off, Say Anything, St Elmo s Fire I never knew anything about the casting and filming process for these movies, so that was fascinating There are a few parts that get a little slow and repetitive, but overall it s a captivating book. This was a fun read Gora clearly did her research, but relied a little to heavily on direct quotes in her writing.I m a little young for this era I was 10 when Say Anything, the last of the movies discussed, came out , so I had no idea that the phrase Brat Pack originally came from an article that portrayed Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson in a pretty negative light I thought it was solely a play on Rat Pack.I especially enjoyed the info about casting and the discussion of how the music was incorporated, since I had the Some Kind of Wonderful and Pretty in Pink soundtracks on cassette ha and listened to them a LOT in high school I also watched Sixteen Candles on my birthday every year from age 16 until well into college. This week s headline Some self created dramaWhy this book Nineties VCR nostalgiaWhich book format Hardback with caricaturesPrimary reading environment Summer dog daysAny preconceived notions Hated Say AnythingIdentify most with Who s Dawn Steel Three little words your heart dies Goes well with Cap n Crunch sandwichAlan Ruck says he and Matthew Broderick, buddies in real life, were encouraged to improvise during the filming of Ferris Bueller s Day Off He wanted that layered quality that you get when you work on it on than one level, Ruck says of the late John Hughes.That s what this book is lacking Not improvisation, but another layer.It needed one read through by an editor with fresh eyes, and I can t help wondering if publication was somewhat rushed after the death of John Hughes.The book is meticulously researched and beautifully structured, and I have no doubt it was written out of love for the movies It just needed an extra coat of polish.The same might be said about Hughes s movies they re real and honest and truly significant contributions to popular culture, perhaps even transcending the film genre but by purely cinematic standards, they are not great films.The films in this book are revered because they heralded original vision, the start of something new and exciting Flaws in the final products were often overlooked and even added to the charm.Working on several levels meant bringing people into the creative process, and the film the audience finally saw was often a living, breathing, organic creation.A film began with Hughes, then emanated out into the universe, collecting actor input, director interpretation, musical choices, and audience reaction in waves that are still reverberating today.A book that has co opted the experience of watching those films, however, reverses the process It reduces the story, film makers, and audience down to simple words on a page, and needs that final layer of shine before it reaches the public.John Hughes could crank out a script in two days but he had the entire film making process as a revision tool.Other cultural accompaniments Dogma 1999 , Shakespeare The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom, Win Ben Stein s Money.Grade A B I leave you with this John understood that at that time of your life, you feel things deeply than you probably will ever feel them And most adults don t want to remember that They want to belittle that instead of celebrating that this is a unique time, a special time, a magic time Lea Thompson I came of age during the reign of John Hughes Movies like Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller s Day Off are seared in my consciousness forever Those films defined a generation I even revisited a few of Hughes s films likeThe Breakfast Club and Some Kind of Wonderful while reading this John Hughes was a genius at giving honest voices to teenagers in a way that hadn t been done before I read about 110 pages of this book and honestly, I am pretty sure I got what I needed out of this book This book gets bogged down by with way too much detail Better editing would have compelled me to continue, but it is unnecessarily long There s no doubt that John Hughes changed teen culture while creating a few classics in the process. I can t remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much This was an exceptional read Susannah Gora obviously has mad affection for these movies and my God, it shows I m thirty something and remember with startling clarity seeing The Breakfast Club for the first time I was drawn in slowly, recognising and cringing over the awkwardness of the high school setting I was living it, albeit in London England , yet waiting for the focus of the film to shift It didn t It stayed with the kids and over the course of the movie one day on narrative terms , it made me laugh, recoil, shrivel, cry and cheer It truly is a cult classic worthy of shameful adoration.I m a devotee of eighties movies, tried and true It was a time when studios took chances on new writers and directors and backed CONCEPTS and STORIES, not merely chased the sequel buck or played safe At least, that s the way it seemed John Hughes loomed large in that arena and not without good reason A master storyteller, capable of writing contemporary tales so utterly relatable, the international world could believe in it s characters we all knew someone like THAT and so compelling, they seemed to stay with you forever.In the eighties, a clutch of movies rose above the cream and came to symbolise a yearning, if not a meaning, a soulful purpose if not a clear intent A clever journalist throw a way term, Brat Pack was swiftly applied to the handful of actors involved in these big box office hits and it stuck, solidifying a genre and time while hindering the careers of all involved It s a time many look back on now with nostalgia but for the actors, it has taken time to come to terms with Nowadays, we all know the media love their labels, splicing couples names together in garish monikers, and we accept it, but things were different in the eighties.Susannah Gora s book scores HUGE not only because it is drenched in nostalgic love for these films, it is painstakingly researched, astonishingly insightful and shamefully indulgent Each sentimental movie gains it s own chapter a structure I found most pleasing and boasts a plethora of behind the scenes trivia that truly tickled me throughout I love behind the scenes info on how movies are made and this book fed me to gluttony If you re not a fan of these movies, I d be reluctant to recommend this book You may wonder what all the fuss is about, but if you have never wondered what the naked blonde with a poodle under one arm and a two ton salami under the other said to the bartender, this wasn t for you anyway.I will be reading this again Not to mention anything of that GORGEOUS artwork on front and back That s how you publish a book I am a member of the generation that was profoundly affected by the films of John Hughes and the Brat Pack In fact, the John Hughes movies meant so much to me, and still mean so much to me, that his death brought me to tears It s almost as if, while he was still living, there was the possibility for of the movies that so inspired me and defined my youth When he died, that possibility died too.It s quite possible that my attachment to John Hughes and the Brat Pack movies influenced my appreciation of this book, and that someone who isn t familiar with or, gasp, doesn t enjoy those films wouldn t enjoy the book And shame on you on both counts But for those of us who remember with extreme nostalgia the moment that Samantha kisses Jake Ryan, or the five members of the Breakfast Club opening up to each other in the library, or Duckie Dale being so completely there for a completely unappreciative Andie at the prom, this book is for you.In addition to learning all the off screen gossip, like the fact that Mia Sara had a monstrous crush on Matthew Broderick or that Molly Ringwald wasn t crazy about Jon Cryer how could you, Molly , I also gained some insight into the incredibly complicated John Hughes He may have been the man to create the characters that so influenced me as I was growing up, but he could also be stubborn, overly sensitive, and could hold a grudge like no one else in the world In fact, some of the descriptions in the book made me wonder if he suffered from Bipolar Disorder Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, and recommend it to the other Hughesians out there Now I have to go watch The Breakfast Club Or maybe Sixteen Candles Say Anything, perhaps.