"Pretty In Pink" (1986)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: Howie Deutch, John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes
In Theatres: Jan 1st, 1986
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures

Andie (Molly Ringwald) is an outcast at her Chicago high school, hanging out either with her older boss (Annie Potts), who owns the record store where she works, or her quirky best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer), who has a crush on her. When one of the rich and popular kids at school, Blane (Andrew McCarthy), asks Andie out, it seems too good to be true. As Andie starts falling for Blane, she begins to realizes that dating someone from a different social sphere is not easy.

Another of John Hughes’ masterpieces, this is an 80s teen classic.

Andie is a great lead character. She’s very creative, showing off an array of memorable and fashionable outfits she made herself. She’s very caring and responsible, looking after her unemployed father, taking the role of her mother in her absence. But most importantly, she’s strong – “I just wanna let them know that they didn’t break me” (Best line and best lesson to take away from the movie, by the way!) The role was written for Molly Ringwald and would be her third collaboration with John Hughes, following Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. However, Molly Ringwald didn’t initially accept the role and other actresses who were then considered included Sarah Jessica Parker and Brook Shields, among others.  

The ongoing dispute whether Andie should have chosen Duckie or Blane will no doubt go on for many years to come.  My personal opinion (for what it’s worth)? I don’t think either of them were gallant choices…Duckie was and should always be her loyal and quirky best friend. And I never particularly liked Blane… But that’s neither here nor there!

This dispute could have been so different however! Having just completed his role in The Breakfast Club as geeky Brian a year previously, Anthony Michael Hall was reluctant to take the role of Duckie, afraid of being typecast. As a result, he turned it down despite the role being written specifically for him. We could have had a very different film on our hands! 

Fortunately (though I’m sure Anthony Michael Hall could have done a good job too), Jon Cryer gave us the Duckie we all know and love. He is a unique man, there is no other like him for sure. Duckie lip-syncing to Otis Redding’s 1967 hit “Try a Little Tenderness” is probably one of the film’s more famous scenes. On that note…As entertaining a character as Duckie is on screen, I wouldn’t have the patience for him as a real-life friend. Who leaves that many phone calls? Who rides a bike in circles beneath a friend of a friend’s apartment after following the friend there? Who sets off fire alarms at their friend’s place of work? I hate to burst the bubble, but here now…These are hardly the acts of a good friend… *clears throat* stalker *clears throat* Poor Duckie… 

My favourite character would have to be Andie’s other good friend and work colleague, Iona. She’s wonderful – so quirky, so lovable and very entertaining. I love the scenes that include her and Andie. I love the scene when she and Andy are talking in Iona’s apartment and Iona pulls out her old prom dress for Andie to wear. She puts it on herself and the pair commence to dance. Iona is just self-assured and happy in herself and I like that. I think she’s a great role model for Andie to have in her life and a loyal friend for her to turn to.

The story seems to touch on topics like social standard, class differences and facades. Particularly when it comes to Andie’s relationship with Blane.  Am I the only one who thought he was kind of an ass?! Taking Andie to one of his friends' parties as their first date was not exactly his finest idea and he never really acknowledged that it made her uncomfortable. He came from a richer background to Andie, a fact which she felt ashamed to share with him initially. I think this side of the story is a little forced sometimes. For one thing, not to sound shallow, but why would anyone question going out with a anyone who had money? How is that an issue? If he doesn’t care that she doesn’t, why should she? But then in other ways it gives more depth to the characters which is nice. The underlining message is a good one to address amidst the fun and teen drama.

I always enjoy this movie. It’s a classic.

Final Rating: 3.5/5 Stars