Friday, August 07, 2009

Director of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Home Alone has Passed Away

One of my favorite directors, John Hughes, has passed away at the age of 59 as the result of a sudden heart attack. I am very saddened by this news. Just last week, I rented one of my favorite movies of all time, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. My girlfriend and I watched it, but we still haven't finished it. We will watch the rest soon, probably this weekend. I really love that movie. John Candy, who is the main star along with Steve Martin, is one of my favorite actors. I think John Hughes and John Candy worked very well together because they shared a certain youthful optimism.

John Candy stands in stark contrast to many movie characters who are dark and mysterious. John Candy is open and innocent. He is a lovable guy who is not tainted by the evils of the world. He maintains his purity and innocence and often leaves his mark on the world that is much too cynical. Many parts of Planes, Trains and Automobiles will bring a tear to all but the most jaded of eyes. John Candy's character is not looking for wealth, fame, or power, but rather love and friendship.

Another great movie featuring John Candy, and directed by John Hughes, is Home Alone. One of my favorite scenes is when the boy meets the old man in church watching his daughter. The old man eventually tells the boy of his relationship with his son, and that they dont' talk anymore. The old man shares wisdom with the boy telling him he shouldn't be afraid of strangers or assume that they are bad people (judge not), and the boy equally gives advice to the old man, when he encourages him to talk to his son. Eventually the father and son are reunited.

John Hughes will be sorely missed. Why am I writing about him on a Catholic blog? I think John Hughes shows us values in his movies, more than most movies these days. He shows us a childlike simplicity, which echo Christ's words that we must be childlike to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He shows us that while we may have our own ideas about what's important in life, God has other ideas. What we see as childish, God sees as the most important. Virtues like brotherly love, love of spouses, forgiveness, happiness, joy, innocence, and non-judgementalism are most important than being rich and famous and powerful. These movies are great for young and old.

Maybe this weekend, if you're not too busy, you can pick up a copy of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and enjoy the innocent fun.

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