Ah, the 80s. Never was there a better time to be a little kid growing up. Also, there was never a better time for teenage/high school movies. John Hughes, his films, and the few others this book talks about, came along at the right time, with the right actors, the right messages, the right music, the right pop culture. This genre of movie has never been as classic or impactful since, so it was only a matter of time that we would get the ultiimate book on the 80s teen movie/John Hughes craze, and boy did we get it!
Susannah Gora has written one exceptional book on a subject that so many people and fans love and hold near and dear to their hearts. The impact of such 80s teen/brat pack movies such as "Sixteen Candles", "The Breakfast Club", "St. Elmo's Fire", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Pretty In Pink", "Say Anything" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful" are all documented here in their own lengthy, well written and informative chapters that are all engrossing from start to finish and there is nary a sight of filler. Besides the movies themselves, the book also gives us a peek into who these people were. Perhaps the most fascinating is reading about John Hughes, a man who is a true genius. He is a complex and engaging character that he could of been a character in one of his own films. It truly details who this man was, where he came from, and how he thought and worked. It's very well done. Still, you get insides into Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, and all the others you know. The human side of this book is one of the many pluses here, that it's not just above the movies, but about the people who made it happen. Gora has written about them in such a way that, just like the characters you know and love and feel like you know (or feel like you are)from the classic movies, you feel like you know these people as well. It's a testament to how great these performers are, but also how well Gora has written and researched this book.
The chapters, and the details of the book, go like this: "Nothing Compares To Hughes: Teen cinema and the man who changed it forever" chronicles the upbringing of John Hughes and his rise to the business; "Eternal Flame: Sixteen Candles lights up the screen" chronicles the creation of making of that iconic film; "Breakfast Of Champions", of course, details the landmark film that is 'The Breakfast Club'; "Not Just For Breakfast Anymore: Inside The Heat St. Elmo's Fire" is pretty self explanatory; "Becoming 'The Brat Pack'" deals with how the term came to be, who created it, and the struggle the young actors had dealing with that label; "Sitting Pretty", as I'm sure you have guessed by now, is all about 'Pretty In Pink'; "We Got The Beat: Behind The Music Of The Brat Pack Films" is a subject that is just as important to the movies as anything else. All the great music! "I Love Ferris In The Springtime" is all bout Bueller, Bueller....; "Teens In Wonderland" chronicles the making of the criminally underrated 'Some Kind Of Wonderful'; There are 6 more chapters here, dealing with "Say Anything", to the brat packers moving on in the world and becoming adults, and more!
There is tons of information, gossip, and little facts all through this book that I had not known. I learned a lot of things about some of my favorite films, and that is the work of a great book. Susannah Gora has dug deep and revealed a lot of great stuff in this book that should even be unknown to the biggest of fans.
I can't imagine there being anything better written on the subject than "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried". Every movie is given it's due in lengthy sections, and we are treated to a behind the scenes look at their creation with funny, surprising, and poignant moments. The second I saw this book I hoped it would be what I wanted to be. It was....and so much more. It delivers what I hoped it would. It's not magnificently long, but it's lengthy enough. If there is one drawback to this otherwise fantastic book, it's that there is not one picture in the entire thing. Not a single one. That is a major disappointment. Still, it's not enough to damage what is the essential book on the 80s and the classic teen films that it created. This is a must read book that can't be ignored, just like the movies it writes about.