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“You don’t normally get a tribute like this until you’re dead.”
Starring: Kelly LeBrock, Mia Sara, Judd Nelson, Kevin Smith, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy
Director: Matt Austin-Sadowski
Run time: 73 minutes
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
Related reviews: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The guys who made Don’t You Forget About Me benefited from the death of John Hughes recently, in that there was all of a sudden a lot more interest in their movie than there would otherwise have been. Alliance Films releases the documentary November 3rd, and it follows four friends as they attempt to track down the elusive director who disappeared from Hollywood years ago and was never heard from again.
Along the way, they interview Mia Sara (who is interviewed in a bikini and still looks amazing), Kelly LeBrock (who does not, any longer, look amazing), Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and a number of other actors who starred in Hughes films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. For some reason they are missing Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, who are probably the three biggest stars of Hughes movies, but it doesn’t really matter.
Because really, the movie doesn’t work anyway. Their search for Hughes is vaguely creepy, it’s uneasy and it’s tentative at best. They spend way too much time talking about how they’re going to approach him, like they’re the geeky kid hoping to ask the hot chick to the big dance. You know, like they’re in a John Hughes movie. But he did it way better. Don’t You Forget About Me works as a tribute to Hughes, with clips from his movies and interviews with his actors, but I’ve already seen that on TV when he died.
These filmmakers are so in love with their own idea – we’ll pay tribute to John Hughes, and get people like Kevin Smith to ask him to come out of retirement, and then show up at his house and ambush him! Or, not ambush him. But approach him tentatively. Or, sneak up and leave something on his doorstep. Or, hide in the bushes and watch him shower. Or something. In the end, they get (sort of) a response from Hughes himself, but it kind of makes Hughes look like a jerk. The four film makers don’t seem to see that though, because they are so blinded by their love for the man. Besides, they have figured out all they need to know about him already, by going through his garbage.
P.S. – Paramount Home Entertainment released a special edition of Planes, Trains and Automobiles today, another truly hilarious and heartfelt Hughes classic. It comes with a few great special features like a John Candy tribute and a feature called John Hughes For Adults.