John Hughes was a stunningly talented director, a wildly funny writer, a great friend, a Republican in a town where being a Republican takes some courage. But most of all, he was a poet. He was to the postwar middle class white kid what John Keats was to the age of upheaval during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars.
John Hughes had many brilliant insights: his portrayal of the carnage that modern business travel wreaks in men's lives in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" was by far the best evisceration of what deregulation has wrought, and a powerful comment about the loneliness of the life of the working middle-aged traveling man.
His understanding of the mindset of the rich pre-teen child -- total paranoia combined with almost Hitlerian fantasies of power and sadism -- was made funny in his "Home Alone" movies. His thought that...