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You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,275 ratings  ·  257 reviews
You can quote lines from Sixteen Candles (“Last night at the dance, my little brother paid a buck to see your underwear”), your iPod playlist includes more than one song by the Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds, you watch The Breakfast Club every time it comes on cable, and you still wish that Andie had ended up with Duckie in Pretty in Pink. You’re a bonafide Brat Pack de ...more
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Crown Archetype (first published June 23rd 2009)
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3.83  · 
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 ·  1,275 ratings  ·  257 reviews

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Marjorie Ingall
May 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: grownups
To say the writing is workmanlike is an insult to workmen. But those of us who loved John Hughes movies will enjoy this repetitive, gossipy tome ((with bonus random Say Anything chapter! Why is it here? NO CLUE! But I loved Say Anything too!). You don't get any sense of Hughes as a human -- why did he keep repeating his pattern of getting super-close to people (Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald and others), then dumping them cold? Why'd he do all his best work in the 80s, then churn out crap ...more
Jevron McCrory
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much!

This was an exceptional read! Susannah Gora obviously has mad affection for these movies and my God, it shows!

I'm thirty something and remember with startling clarity seeing The Breakfast Club for the first time. I was drawn in slowly, recognising and cringing over the awkwardness of the high school setting (I was living it, albeit in London England), yet waiting for the focus of the film to shift. It didn't. It stayed with the kids and o
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I am a member of the generation that was profoundly affected by the films of John Hughes and the Brat Pack. In fact, the John Hughes movies meant so much to me, and still mean so much to me, that his death brought me to tears. It's almost as if, while he was still living, there was the possibility for more of the movies that so inspired me and defined my youth. When he died, that possibility died too.

It's quite possible that my attachment to John Hughes and the Brat Pack movies influenced my app
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book looks at ‘80s teen movies, including many John Hughes’ movies. The book takes the reader behind the scenes in the movies and we learn about the actors, as well as John Hughes and the other directors. There are chapters on “Sixteen Candles”, “The Breakfast Club”, “St. Elmo’s Fire”, “Pretty in Pink”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Some Kind of Wonderful”, and “Say Anything”.

What a fun book for someone who was a teenager in the 80s (me)! I’ve seen all but two of the movies (and now feel lik
J.S. Green
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-culture
Yeah, it's pure fluff, but it's pretty fun fluff to read.

A very interesting look at the movies made or written by (or merely influenced by) John Hughes and the so-called "Brat Pack" actors. The specific films that are heavily profiled are: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Say Anything. It also talks about the article where the "Brat Pack" label came from and the music in the films.

I actually don't remember
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. Gora clearly did her research, but relied a little to heavily on direct quotes in her writing.

I'm a little young for this era (I was 10 when Say Anything, the last of the movies discussed, came out), so I had no idea that the phrase "Brat Pack" originally came from an article that portrayed Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson in a pretty negative light. I thought it was solely a play on "Rat Pack".

I especially enjoyed the info about casting and the discussion of how the music was
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a must-read for anyone who loved the great teen movies from the 1980's like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Say Anything, St. Elmo's Fire. I never knew anything about the casting and filming process for these movies, so that was fascinating. There are a few parts that get a little slow and repetitive, but overall it's a captivating book.
Mandy Jo
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
This week’s headline? Some self-created drama

Why this book? Nineties (VCR) nostalgia

Which book format? Hardback with caricatures

Primary reading environment? Summer dog days

Any preconceived notions? Hated Say Anything

Identify most with? Who’s Dawn Steel?

Three little words? “…your heart dies”

Goes well with? Cap’n Crunch sandwich

Alan Ruck says he and Matthew Broderick, buddies in real life, were encouraged to improvise during the filming of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

“He wanted that layered quality t
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation, caters to a very specific audience. And when I say "a very specific audience" what I'm REALLY trying to say is that it was written for people like ME.

This is the anecdotal account of all things related to eighties teenage cinema. While I was always a bit younger than the target audience for these films at the time, once I found their magic early on, I quickly realized, for me, there would be no let
Tracy Fleming-Swehla
It’s quite possible that every single person feels fortunate and lucky to have spent their impressionable teen years during the decade they got to experience. I love the 80’s. I truly did…and do. Growing up during the ‘80’s was fabulous, and reading this book brought so much back to me. I spent so many weekends at the movies, and loved Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, etc. John Hughes movies are just GREAT movies that I've shared with my kids and they love them too, and it’s so fun to enjoy the ...more
Erin Martin
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-a-copy
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVED this book. The movies discussed - Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful and Say Anything - were my favorite movies as a teenager and shaped my growing up years. Even today, they are still my favorites and are the ones I can watch over and over again. The interviews with all the major players give you a huge insight into the behind the scenes happenings and what the ac ...more
Carmen Liffengren
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
I came of age during the reign of John Hughes. Movies like Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off are seared in my consciousness forever. Those films defined a generation. I even revisited a few of Hughes's films like The Breakfast Club and Some Kind of Wonderful while reading this. John Hughes was a genius at giving honest voices to teenagers in a way that hadn't been done before. I read about 110 pages of this book and honestly, I am pretty sure I got what I needed out of this book. Thi ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book occasionally took itself too seriously, but I loved it.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A must-read for anyone who is obsessed with 80's teen movies!
Jason Nassi
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Makes me want to watch the movies and listen to 80s music :)
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried
Author: Susannah Gora
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Published In: New York City, NY
Date: 2010
Pgs: 367


The cultural touchstones of a generation of American teenagers, the Brat Pack movies and actors changed the fabric of understanding for many who thought they were on their own and that it was only happening to them. John Hughes wrote the soul of the American teenager and put it onscreen for the world to see. Outcasts, prom queens,
David Harrington
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Susannah Gora has written a book that belongs on the shelf of any serious film/book collector, and even more so, on the shelf of anyone who loves the 80's teen films that resulted from the creative mind of John Hughes, and other fantastic directors such as Cameron Crowe, Howard Deutch, and Joel Schumacher.
I was born in 1984, which saw the release of Hughes directorial debut "Sixteen Candles". I found, early in my life when I saw "The Breakfast Club" (my favorite 80's teen film) for the first ti
Mary Claire
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little bit self-important, but otherwise highly entertaining for anyone who’s a fan of Hughes’s body of work.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Brain damaged fans that love to read magazines like People and Teen Beat.
I'll begin by writing that I left this book in my bathroom so I could have something interesting to read there. This was a good book to leave in the bathroom. I also read another book simultaneously which cleansed my palate after this love confection.
I thought this book was going to be a serious examination of John Hughes, the actors he worked with and the movies he made with them. Instead (I'm 109 pages in of a 337 page book,) it's more of a gathering of media quotes assembled with tons of rep
Feb 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010-read

So I think I heard about this book on the Entertainment Weekly Pop Culture blog. The second half of the title is what sold it for me, I thought there would be an analysis of the impact of the films. Not so much. I hated the writing of this, which read for me like a long extended magazine cover feature on John Hughes.

The writing was so over the top, the sentences were way too wordy and sycophantic.

Examples: "There were indeed plenty of deeply happy moments on screen and off. But this was a John
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This brought back fond memories of some of my favorite movies. I also learned a few things about the reclusive, hard-to-work-with John Hughes. Silly me didn't know that another favorite of mine, Cameron Crow, penned the horribly corny movie, Say Anything. Huh....

This book focuses a lot on how one measly article where Emilio Esteves invited a writer to hang out and catch the true story of Hollywood stars and friends, actually ended up hindering their careers by naming them "The Brat Pack." Appare
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2012
I deducted a star for one embarrassing sentence in which the author revealed that she has no idea what "id" and "ego" actually mean.

Also for being dismissive of "Weird Science" and "Uncle Buck," especially the former, since it was during the key period. I think the author must be the only person in the world to like "The Great Outdoors" more than the latter, however.

Plus she's so enamored of Andrew McCarthy that she actually had something good to say about "Weekend at Bernie's." I'll give her a
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great read for anyone with interest in the films of John Hughes and other Brat Pack movies. This is a very detailed account of this era of teen/young adult movies, how the "Brat Pack" moniker came to be, and the influence they had on teens and the film industry as a whole. It started to get a little tedious toward the end, but overall I really enjoyed this book. Definitely recommend if the subject matter seems interesting to you!
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a huge fan of 80's movies (and the "brat pack" stars) I loved this book! Great insider information, and a walk down memory lane. I need to organize a movie marathon sometime soon. These films really did inspire a generation, and have continued to stand the test of time!
Rachael Spalding
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was written for me, as I obsessively read the chapter about Say Anything three times. Writing was sometimes formulaic and redundant and the author definitely could have chosen a shorter title, but I enjoyed it as much as I expected I would.
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Some interesting details from behind the scenes of these movies, but I felt like the book was still missing something that I can't quite put my finger on.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting read if you're a fan of movies like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, etc. The author is obviously a BIG fan and sometimes the writing was a bit fawning, but overall I enjoyed it.
Scott Saliger
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A decent read if you like teen flicks from the '80s, mostly told via interviews with former stars. There's too much "gossip" about Hughes' obsession with the 16-year old Molly Ringwald as his "muse," but who cares. There's also some cool trivia about: 1) Anytime Matthew Broderick goes to a baseball game, someone shouts to him: "Hey Bueller, what are you doing here? Is this your day off?" 2) Eric Stoltz was a "method actor," and would only reply to fellow castmembers if they called him by his cha ...more
Danielle Gleeson
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
As a lover of John Hughes and 80s teen movies, the second I saw this book I had to get it! I didn't grow up in the 80s, but because of my parents, Hughes movies became a fundamental part of my adolescence. The very first film I watched of his was The Breakfast Club, and I immediately felt connected to the magic on my screen. At 15, I felt understood, which was something I had never felt before. Picking up this book felt almost cathartic in the fact that it let me dive deeper into the the world o ...more
Derek Holmes
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the films featured in detail in the chapters I still really like two of them, Breakfast Club and Some Kind of Wonderful. She does well to get interviews with almost all the actors and film makers featured with two notable exceptions being John Hughes himself, he died while she was writing the book and rarely gave interviews and Emilo Estevez who does not like to focus on past work.
An enjoyable and informative read for fans of this era, the music, the films, the actors.
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Play Book Tag: You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried / Susannah Gora. 4 stars 9 15 Apr 12, 2018 04:29AM  

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