Thursday, August 06, 2009
You would have to be made of stone, with a cast-iron heart, dressed in hand-me-downs from Hitler not to be affected by this grueling scene from the John Hughes written/produced/directed "She's Having A Baby", an underrated, underseen film from 1988. Hughes, more so than even Tarantino, understood the use of evocative music and the way it shaped/manipulated moviegoers' emotions. Here, Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" sets the waterworks flowing while Kevin Bacon relives all of his married life while waiting for good news, waiting for the birth of his and Elizabeth McGovern's first child. Reminiscent in some ways of the married life montage scene in the beginning of Pixar's "Up".
John Hughes died unexpectedly today, while walking with his family on a trip to Manhattan. He made more of an impact on film and on filmgoers than any dozen other filmmakers of his generation. Sure, he was funny, but his films and his writing had heart, and had soul, and that's really what sets him apart from some other heart-tuggers I could mention.
Here's that scene:
I'm inspired to post another heartbreaking scene, this one is taken from another of his non-teen movies. It's the achingly sweet-sad ending from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles". "Planes" boasts one of Steve Martin's best performances, showcases what is definitely John Candy's greatest turn at bat, and is one of the funniest "odd couple" road movies ever- maybe the best. That John Hughes felt comfortable ending his slapstick comic story with this sad, sweet moment is a true testament to his vision of what films should be- open, friendly, familial and warm. If you haven't seen this one, don't watch this video, as it is the actual finish of the film. Rent it and watch the whole thing.
Or, if you have the patience, the whole movie is now up on YouTube, so you can make a playlist and watch the whole enchilada instead of working. John would like that.