Chicago, Humor, John Hughes

Reading Isn’t Always a Good Thing


I wrote a book review  for my friend Keith’s book on this blog earlier this year and in the book review I said:

It also takes a lot for me to read a book these days, it seems.
Lately, I have fallen victim to the iPad.
I used to read books and have functioning brain cells.
I was witty and threw words around like perfunctory and indubitably. 
Then I won an iPad at a blogging function three years ago and it all went to hell in a handbasket.
I also used to use words like handbasket. 
So this summer I decided to put down the iPad and start reading again.
I don’t need to read about people’s Facebook lives before I go to bed.
Because I end up dreaming about me and my friend from fourth grade ending up walking down an escalator with our tops off.
I swear it wasn’t X-rated but the point I am making is that I needed to read again.
And since I would be going to the library with my eight-year-old this past summer anyway, I reasoned I could surely stop and get books for myself.
One day, I found this gem after typing the words “John Hughes” in the library database computer:


It was an amazing book, keeping me engaged with all sorts of great information about Mr. Hughes and his directing adventures.
Let’s just say if you are a fan of all of his movies and the movies starring the”Brat Pack”, you will love this book.
In fact, I felt like it helped me a little with aspects of my screenplay when I started reading it.
Nuggets of information that would make the words I was writing more accurate and possibly make me look less stupid when pimping my screenplay all over the place.
I finished my screenplay at the beginning of July.
I finished this book at the end of July.
I am telling you this as a reference point,  hang in there with me as I organize my thoughts.
It was as I was reading this book, probably nearer the end that I had a revelation.
Well, I didn’t have it on my own, the author and many people interviewed put the revelation in my head.
And that revelation was this: John Hughes became a little bit of an asshole.
I am being nice. 
He was a big asshole.
Apparently, he was at times difficult to work with, could shut people out and by the end of his directing career, became a douche pickle.
At one point toward the end of the book,  John Hughes was compared to the likes of Howard Hughes.
I can’t remember exactly because by then, I had skimmed the paragraphs for the glory of finishing a book.
And I sat there in silence like Ralphie from Christmas Story.
courtesy of Gifcentral.gif
It was like one of my heroes had been stripped naked in front of me.
I was raw.
Over a dead director that I have never met.
But this is the reason I felt so raw: my entire screenplay honors him.
You know, the asshole. 
Then I really, really wished I had never picked up the book, to begin with.
And at the same time, really glad I did.
Because of the book, I watched a movie I had never seen before, St. Elmo’s Fire and re-watched one I hadn’t seen in years, Some Kind Of Wonderful.
And it made me realize that my screenplay doesn’t have to be perfect because hell if those two movies, as guilty pleasure worthy as they are, are at their heart kind of cheesy.
It also made me realize that the movie, Some Kind Of Wonderful is in reality, the movie Pretty in Pink only with a girl Duckie who gets her male Andie at the end.
I haven’t looked at my screenplay in over two weeks now.
It makes me a little sad and a little not sad at all.
I need to stop over thinking it and ask myself, what would John Hughes do?
He wouldn’t give a shit most likely because asshole. 
Back to the literal drawing board as I have hit a major roadblock in the process.
I sit with a fully written screenplay and nowhere to send it or no idea who to trust with it.
I. Am. Stuck.
I really wish that asshole was here to help me.
Maybe I should try to channel him.
Or tweet Jon Cryer.


8 thoughts on “Reading Isn’t Always a Good Thing”

  1. Wait…you had not seen St Elmo’s Fire!?!? This is worse than the Shrek thing…worse than your feelings on Chet and Wyatt!

    Jon is waiting for your text…I just know it!


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