Revisited this one; this'd be the third time. It's just always such a pleasure. It's certainly Hughes' best drama; 16 Candles is his best comedy, I'd say. But this one is interesting, because it's far from perfect, but even with the definite flaws, it's just a wonderful experience and a film that I think is a classic deserving of its status.
The cast is really phenomenal. Everyone is fantastic and everybody, except, probably, Anthony Michael Hall, is full-on career best, which is really something. I'd single out Hall, Nelson and Gleason in particular as just giving performances that are just marvelous and instantly iconic. It's a well-written film too. It's both hilariously funny and genuinely, darkly dramatic. And both of those things flow from actual character development. The way in which the film steadfastly resists easy redemptions and yet humanizes everyone, even the despicable Vernon, is fantastic.
Flaws? Well, the ending becomes predictable. I didn't like the way four of the students pair off at the very end - I think the film has more resonance without the cheap and easy "romances" being thrown in at the end. The energy level starts to drop around that point, almost as if the film itself knows that it's taking the easy way out and feels moderately bad about it. But even that can't really tarnish the film. There are films with serious flaws that are still interesting, compelling and just plain great enough to warrant a 4 star rating from me in spite of the flaws. This is one of them. Great film. Highly recommended. 4 stars.