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And then once in a while there would be somebody that was French that happened to be a fan, but they always sort of seemed different, not as rabid as American fans can be.” To be sure, Ringwald seems deeply grateful for the role she has been able to play in her fans’s lives (“Being a part of something that mattered to so many different people — I feel like I was a part of something that was really special,” she told me when speaking of her iconic 1980s teen films).But it’s not hard to imagine Ringwald having also experienced plenty of moments like Peter’s impromptu photo shoot on the plane, and feeling wearied at times by them.“Our lives are so inextricably connected,” she recently told NPR.“I think it’s impossible for people to think of John Hughes and not think of Molly Ringwald, and vice versa […] And he was also somebody that told me, from a very young age, that I needed to write and direct., agreed to meet with a friend of a friend — a man interested in the possibility of doing some travel writing. Because even now, almost 30 years after their well-loved movies about the trials of teenhood first mesmerized young audiences, Ringwald and Mc Carthy are still largely frozen in the public eye as they were back then — sensitive young adults in totally awesome duds staring down moodily from the posters on countless teenagers’s bedroom walls.But the man Bellows met with in an East Village bar wasn’t a recent journalism school grad, or a laid-off newspaper travel section reporter, or even a blogger hoping to make some glossy-magazine scratch. Although there is much to be said for starring in the films that forever changed the outlook of a generation of young people, for portraying characters so beloved that fans dress up as them on Halloween and name their children after them, for Ringwald and Mc Carthy, a fresh creative start seems in order. “That’s what I’ve been doing for 20 years as an actor.” A slew of major travel-writing awards later, Mc Carthy has indeed told quite a story: .From having her panties ogled by nerds in , Ringwald’s characters showed that contrary to the rosy view of teendom that grownups so often choose to remember (all make-out sessions, no mortgages), adolescence can be a thorny time.
As producer Michelle Manning once explained to me, it was as if Hughes were telling his young audience, “Let me try to show you that it doesn’t have to be that tough.” Molly Ringwald’s novel focuses not on teendom but on marriage and parenthood, and nowhere does she try to show you that it doesn’t have to be that tough.And it’s the best movie I’ve ever made.” Ringwald, for one, wasn’t surprised at all: “When I heard that he was really into gardening,” Ringwald told me, “I thought, of course he’d be into gardening, because so am I.” She and Hughes already shared a worldview, a sense of humor, a birthday.Gardening was just one more thing to add to the list.Peter’s incident with the flight attendants is one of many scenes in the book that seem to be about betrayal (Greta is betrayed by her cheating husband and her infertile body; Peter by his own fame), but there is another theme that can be found growing like kudzu through the storylines in : an interest in horticulture (one character is a landscape designer, another works through her grief by gardening).It’s no accident that the cover features the subtle imagery of falling leaves.