|Start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year|
Certainly any criticism of Hughes's work so far has to include the point that his everyman characters have rather narrow profiles. They are usually young, usually from the kind of upper-middle-class neighborhood where no one worries about paying the electric bill, usually estranged from their parents -- and always white. There has never been a significant black character in any Hughes film. "I'm not going to pretend I know the black experience," Hughes says, though when he's confronted with the fact that there have been almost no black characters in his films, even in roles that would be race neutral, he concedes that the charge is "an entirely proper argument." "Maybe I've been wrong," he says, "through shortsightedness or whatever. But I'll get there."Hughes never had the opportunity to get there; he stopped making films abruptly in the early 1990s instead of trying to fake the Black experience on film. Repeat: The enigmatic Hughes quit film-making instead of being forced into creating a poor cinematic facsimile of the Black experience he admittedly didn't begin to understand.
This Thanksgiving, SBPDL recommends a new tradition for you and your family: watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
A veritable masterpiece, Hughes created a movie that captures the essence of what Pre-Obama America was all about. Steve Martin and John Candy had a chemistry on screen that few replicated prior to the film and none since:
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 American comedy film released by Paramount Pictures. It was written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung advertising executive, who meets Del Griffith, played by John Candy, a cheerful, overly talkative and well-meaning, but accident-prone shower curtain ring salesman who seems to live in a world governed by a different set of rules.Is there even a Black character that has a speaking part in Planes, Trains and Automobiles?
This Thanksgiving, start a new tradition with you and your family: watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Perhaps the greatest comedy of all-time the movie stands as Hughes' fitting cinematic canonization of a country that no longer exists, a reminder of all that is lost.
There is a tremendous scene - that can found below - where John Candy's character states this:
Del: You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you... but I don't like to hurt people's feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I'm not changing. I like... I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get.That's what Stuff Black People Don't Like is, the real article. Some days we might be irreverent, others serious. But we'll never compromise. We hope you have enjoyed the Web site over the past 17 months its been online; pretty soon a deadwood edition will be added to the family (just in time for Christmas).
So if you haven't seen the movie, go out and get it today. If you have, watch it again and count the number of Black characters that have a speaking part. Or, just get lost in what was Pre-Obama America's finest comedy.