For a solid decade, Hughes could do no wrong. Regardless of the commercial success (or lack thereof) of his films, Hughes created a series of classics that an entire generation took ownership of, from The Breakfast Club to 16 Candles to Weird Science.
This year's Oscar producers, Adam Shankman and Bil Mechanic, were so dedicated to the quixotic task of luring in young viewers, that we were given a show full of presenters that appeared to have gone through puberty during the rehearsals.
On the set, Hughes did not conceal his enthusiasm about your work, as some directors feel they must. I have worked on some comedy films where the director was the least funny person on the set. Hughes was funny.
Fighting at the lockers, crying in the restroom, avoiding bullies, defending your outfit to a principal who thinks all students should be cookie-cutter preppies -- what kid, black or white, couldn't relate to that?