Back in the day I wasn't the biggest fan of this movie. I think I missed it, to tell you the truth. Not until FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF did I become aware of the late great genius John Hughes. Once seen, how could I help but become a fan.
Three years before this film's release I was in high school too. In my senior year I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in a one act entitled EFIL'S LIFE. (Unless you're gifted at anagrams, EFIL is LIFE spelled backwards.) Along with four very talented peers, we took our little play out of our town and far beyond expectations. It actually competed successfully against classic plays by famous playwrights that were produced by paid drama teachers with way larger budgets.
As Tony Shalhoub once quipped as a fictional engineer -- that was a helluva thing.
There's something comforting about these four walks of lifers sharing the same camera. But what is it, exactly? That we can all see ourselves somewhere inside of at least one character? Maybe with a dash of another?
Times have changed in the last 28 years. Without having first realized I was re-creating the Breakfast Club cast, I now know I had combined The Jock and The Geek into one character. Why? It's happened in our culture. There are muscle guys that really dig comic books -- just as there are geeks who have like to be physically fit.
Behold: LATINO JAMES DEAN, BEAUTY QUEEN (AKA CONFUSED BABE), ENTHUSIASTIC BOY, AND SASSY GIRL.
The Geek has muscle now. The ability to protect himself without The Jock or 'Batman'. What John Hughes labeled as The Princess I've elevated to The Supergirl -- which seems to be what so many young ladies strive for these days. If not, if instead she desires attitude, a potion has been mixed of equal parts TANK GIRL, Margaret Cho, and Jennifer Lawrence.
You notice three comic book characters in the mix. This relates to the script itself as well as the state of culture. Comics used to be the very secret sauce of geekdom but now the masses consume this junk food with slightly troubling glee.
Something else to note. Ethnicity. My players won't be four more 'white' kids. Ethnicity is everywhere in culture and in my updated club. My LATINO JAMES DEAN was inspired by a neighbor who's living La Vida Rebel Without A Cause. It's no act. He's not even an actor. He simply digs the era, the greased back hair, the muscle car he's fixing up -- the works. I hoped he could read for the very part that he accidentally inspired, and yes -- he can. Awesome serendipity.
Once I officially sign my talented teens I'll reveal them all. One kinda peeked out already.
More to come.