You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation Hardcover – Feb 9 2010
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"As readable as it is informative, Susannah Gora’s book sets these influential films into a cultural and cinematic context—and provides compelling behind-the-scenes stories about the people who made them."--Leonard Maltin
"A must-have for fans of '80s teen flicks...what makes it so readable is the juicy, behind-the-scenes stuff."-- Mike Householder, Associated Press
"Gora interviews all the major actors and players anew, and knits together a narrative that, in the end, gives fans a clear, sound understanding of what commercial and cultural forces produced these films — "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," "Say Anything" and more — and why they still mean a great deal to so many." — Chicago Sun-Times
"I've become addicted to Susannah Gora's new book, "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried," her masterful documentation of Hughes and the Brat Pack films." —Steve Spears, St. Petersburg Times
About the Author
SUSANNAH GORA is a filmjournalistwho haswritten for Variety and Elle andwas an editor at Premieremagazine. She appears regularly
on networks like VH1, NBC, and E! to discuss entertainment news and pop culture.
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Reading this book helped me to revisit the movies themselves. I think that a certain amount of distance enhanced the experience of reading this book. Gora informs her reader that John Hughes extracted a lot of what went into his scripts from real life experiences that happened to himself and his friends. One occured when a friend of his took Hughes and their girl friends to the Union League Club in Chicago because the friend's father had a membership there. I roared because anyone who has ever been there would know that the Union League Club is one of the stodgiest exclusive clubs west of Boston. And so it goes that Ferris Buehler became the sausage king of Chicago.
The term 'brat pack' was bandied about a lot when these films were made, but there seemed to be solid evidence from the actors that there was an extended family of sorts forged and many of these relationships exist in one form or another today.
While it wasn't all love and kisses while these films were being made, for the most part these productions became classic examples of really good ensemble acting and it all worked amazingly well.
The major suprise that the book had for me was that this book was not all about John Hughes who died in 2009. This book looked at other popular teen movies made in that era. One film analyzed was a critical failure SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. I really liked that one quite a bit and thought it has held up well.
Another element included in this book were short bios of many of the key actors who have managed to have solid adult careers. It gave me a sense of who they were and the process they used to make these parts work from their perspective.
This book was thoroughly researched and well-written. If you are interested in film criticism, teen movies, or the cinema of John Hughes and his contemporaries, I think you would find this book a good choice.
Along with a good bit of social commentary, Gora offers some interesting portraits of the young actors who starred in Hughes' films--Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and others. In addition she includes an excellent section of the power of the music in the films which Hughes used to catapult his movies into the realm of legend and another section on how the careless use of the term "Brat Pack" in an obscure article substantially altered the careers of many of the young stars. All in all this book is both a fine piece of Hollywood history and a thoughtful analysis of the impact of the movies on American culture.