Chicago, Humor, John Hughes

If I Had John Hughes on a Deserted Island

I am struggling with titles lately.
After blogging for almost six years, I think the well is running dry.
I mean there are only so many witty titles you can come up with, am I right?
The above title started out as John Hughes Movies You Must Watch. Also Titled DUH.
I felt that was a bit aggressive and I don’t like to talk aggressively to you.

I am in a blog title slump.
I have ideas, don’t get me wrong, but they are a hot jumbled mess.
Kind of like the Thursday special for hot lunch where they throw all of the week’s leftovers together and call it “Lunch Delight”.
You know, back when they used to actually “cook” “hot lunch”.

Then I was thinking, which is nary a good thing, what John Hughes movies would I take if I were on a deserted island?
But then I went down the rabbit hole of,  how in the hell were I to know I would be stranded on a deserted island in the first place?
I wouldn’t be able to prepare and arm myself with an arsenal of John Hughes classics, to begin with.
So why is that question ever posed?
Then it made me dive even deeper: what if I were on a deserted island with John Hughes himself?
And together we wrote the perfect screenplay!
But we didn’t have any paper and pen because hello, stranded. 
Then because we were so delusional from hunger and extreme sun, we couldn’t remember our great screenplay idea to begin with when we were finally rescued.


What? I am new to photoshop, okay?


For an off-Broadway production.
Please don’t steal my idea.
It is still in the planning stages.


John was very selfish. He wanted to be all of the male characters. Except for Judd Nelson’s because he was “an asshole”. Let it go, John, LET IT GO.


So here are my suggestions for which John Hughes movies you should take with you on a planned deserted island getaway.
Meaning, if you have never seen these John Hughes classics, you really should see them.
John would have wanted it that way.
At least I think that is what he told me on the coconut phone. 



National Lampoon’s Vacation

The first R rated movie I ever saw was with my Dad and I felt so “adult” watching it. It was the summer before eighth grade and I will never forget it. One of my favorite movies for many reasons but because I have such a great memory associated with it.

Mr. Mom

Michael Keaton is hot. Oh I’m sorry, did that slip out? By the way, he is still hot at age 64. Damn those are some good genes.


Sixteen Candles

Contrary to what you all might think, I did not see any of the following movies in the theater. I know, shocking really. Sixteen Candles isn’t my favorite of the “trifecta” which is what I like to call the BIG THREE: Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Because let’s face it, Mr. Hughes is most known for those three even though he worked on so many more but I do love this one. If you haven’t seen any of the “trifecta”, start here first then work your way down the list.

The Breakfast Club

So many great quotes in this movie and for Carl the janitor alone you need to see this classic. I feel like John Kapelos is one of those great treasures and honestly, one of the hardest working guys in Hollywood if you look at his IMBD filmography. By the way, he played Rudy the bohunk in Sixteen Candles before Carl the janitor if you think he looks familiar. Also, he will be the first person I hit up when I start the John Hughes museum because I think he will be totally down with helping me do things like sweep floors or put Judd Nelson in his place.


Pretty In Pink

My favorite of the trifecta for a couple of reasons. I love LOVE the prom scene, I love LOVE Annie Potts, and I love LOVE the memory I associate with the first time I saw this movie. It wasn’t with a crappy boyfriend in a movie theater, it was in my parents family room with my best friend eating pizza. We were 16 and it was a warm spring night and I will never, ever forget that and honestly, I think that is why this is my favorite of the three. Well, that and I love when Annie Potts slow dances with Molly Ringwald in her apartment to “Cherish”. Probably not one of the better known moments of the movie but a great moment for me.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

I may or may not have recreated the Sears Tower scene or done the Twist and Shout in public in the city of Chicago after seeing this movie. And I have been known to give the name Abe Froman at Starbucks. I have no shame, as those who are close to me know.


Case in point- Me taking a picture of myself having a good boob day while on a food tour. In Chicago. In broad daylight.


This is such a great Chicago sightseeing movie. If you have never been here, I would recommend watching this one. That and it’s one of the last movies before Jennifer Grey’s nose job.


Some Kind Of Wonderful

Man, this movie is totally underrated. In fact, even I haven’t seen this one in years and I own it. A great underdog story which Mr. Hughes (why I am being formal for someone I spent time on an island with is beyond me) is kind of famous for. Fun fact- Mary Stuart Masterson’s mom in real life is Carlin Glynn who played the mom from Sixteen Candles.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Thanksgiving. That is what I always associate this movie with. For years it was a tradition to watch this on the night before Turkey Day. Like, it wasn’t Thanksgiving without it. Then we kind of got away from it because life happened, travel, kids etc.. BUT we still watch it around the holidays. Always. My oldest daughter loved this movie when she was little and we used to yell EARMUFFS every time a bad word was used. Now our youngest is following suit. It is worth explaining what the word f&*% means. Or just say EARMUFFS really, really loudly.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I take it back, THIS movie is the best for quotes. My entire family will quote this movie year round. YEAR ROUND. Shitter’s full never ever gets old and can be used on many an occasion. If you don’t like sophomoric humor, this won’t be your kind of movie. And this isn’t your kind of blog.


Uncle Buck

One of John Candy’s last best movies. The first John Hughes movie I saw while living in the Chicago area, this is my favorite Macaulay Culkin movie, not Home Alone. I think he is so much better in this one but of course, he got the Home Alone movie because of Uncle Buck. That is how it works in Hollywood. John told me that one night while hammock swinging. That sounds dirty but it isn’t. I swear.

Home Alone

I actually hated this movie when I first saw it but I was 20 and not into kid movie/Christmas movies. It just wasn’t my thing. But now, I love this movie and so do my kids. It is now a classic Christmas movie. My two favorite scenes are when the “scary” neighbor finally reunites with his granddaughter and the Kenosha Kickers. Because of John Candy.


She’s Having a Baby

Another way underrated movie based in Chicago. It has an amazing cast too: Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern (ahem, Cora from Downton Abbey), Alec Baldwin, Holland Taylor, Paul Gleason and more. I obsessively watched this movie when I was in my early twenties because I had baby fever without actually wanting to have a baby if that makes any sense. I also love the soundtrack. Favorite song? This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush.


The Great Outdoors 

Another movie that is kind of underrated but if you were to mention this one, I think most people would say, “OH I LOVE THAT ONE!”. We loved it so much, we brought it with us to watch at our cabin in the Smokey’s years ago. That is hardcore.

Here are some I say you can skip.
John was banana hunting on the other side of the island when I made this list.

Weird Science– I don’t get it.

Curly Sue– Not even a cute girl could save this one.

Any Home Alone after the first one– I don’t care for sequels especially if you slap a number behind the title. Something tells me Mr. Hughes was less and less behind each sequel.

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion– This one had funny moments. Watch it if you have some free time but watch the above list first.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation I did see this in the theater in 1985 and I still want my ticket money back.

Dennis the Menace– stop making cartoons and comic strips into movies.

Baby’s Day Out– seriously?

Miracle on 34th Street– stop re-making classics.

Beethoven– Oh John.

Flubber– Stop.



Nothing to see here.
Nothing to see.



4 thoughts on “If I Had John Hughes on a Deserted Island”

  1. You totally lost your comments! Oh man!

    So you are stuck with mine and here’s the thing, Kari. You gotta love me after this because I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN. I like the second list of movies more than the first. There. I said it.

    Abe Froman at Starbucks….LOL!!! LOVE it.


    1. Yep. gone. Disqus still has them but when I added the Disqus plugin, it still didn’t add my comments back. 😦

      You are TOTALLY my biggest fan. I love you so much!!


  2. Some Kind Of Wonderful – LOVE that movie! National Lampoon’s Class Reunion? That was a movie?? You really are his biggest fan and I would totally see the play.


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