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“It is not about whether the hero will get the girl. It is about whether the hero should get the girl, and when was the last time you saw a movie that even knew that could be the question?” – Roger Ebert in his review of Some Kind of Wonderful (Chicago Sun Times, February 27, 1987)

Some Kind of Wonderful is not a perfect film. There are places where it plays like a Hallmark card and the supporting characters aren’t as fleshed out as in some of Hughes’ other films. It doesn’t inspire the same lazy grin of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off or the wistful smile of The Breakfast Club. It isn’t as firmly enshrined in 80’s culture as Pretty in Pink or Weird Science and it’s in the murky gray area of having been produced and written by John Hughes but having been directed by Howard Deutch.

Despite all of it’s flaws, it’s actually my second favorite John Hughes movie (ironically placing after Pretty in Pink). I tend to fall for characters more than plot and, in Watts, Mary Stuart Masterson delivers one of the truest teen movie heroines to ever grace the screen.

(( spoiler warning — I’m going to discuss the ending scene ))

Everything Masterson does in the last scene is perfect. She conveys the biggest emotions with the smallest gesture or inflection in her voice like when she turns, sees Keith, and lets out a shaky little breath and switches her weight from one foot to another or when she actually leans very slightly back when Keith reaches for her. The tremble in her voice when she says, “I hoped, but I didn’t know” brings me far closer to tears than anything in Titanic or The Notebook.

Even though it’s not considered one of Hughes’ best movies, Some Kind of Wonderful is leagues ahead of almost every teen movie to come out in the last twenty years.

Warning: I watched the documentary Don’t You Forget About Me earlier tonight. I am not responsible for how many John Hughes movies I watch and talk about over the next few days.

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