Earlier this morning, scanning the op-ed page at nytimes.com, I saw a byline that made me chuckle: Molly Ringwald. It turns out, this red-headed '80s teen star, and member of the glibly labeled Brat Pack, wrote one of the most touching memorials I’ve read in a long time.
In her piece “The Neverland Club,” Ringwald remembers director John Huges (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), who died of a heart attack on Aug. 6. Though the piece starts out a bit maudlin, Ringwald goes on to make candid observations about Hughes, painting him as both an inspirational ringleader and a deeply vulnerable, begrudging man. Ringwald describes how, after she made the decision to work with other directors, she and Hughes didn’t speak for 20 years:
“Eventually, though, I felt that I needed to work with other people as well. I wanted to grow up, something I felt (rightly or wrongly) I couldn’t do while working with John. Sometimes I wonder if that was what he found so unforgivable. We were like the Darling children when they made the decision to leave Neverland. And John was Peter Pan, warning us that if we left we could never come back. And, true to his word, not only were we unable to return, but he went one step further. He did away with Neverland itself.”
For a teen star who’s been forever immortalized (for better or worse) as the roles Hughes cast her in, Ringwald surprisingly carries no resentment for Hughes. Rather, she celebrates Hughes' life in a refreshingly candid, un-Hollywood way. I look forward to reading future Times op-ed pieces by other Brat Pack members. Rob Lowe, you're up.