I used to LOVE this film, probably beyond all reason. Whenever it was on TV (usually at some ungodly hour) I would either tape it or stay up, depending on the day. The idea that the boy of your dreams would not only notice you but take you out and fall in love with you, that it was that easy and simple, seemed like the ultimate in wish fulfillment (because I crushed on inappropriate boys, none of whom were rich, I lived through fiction). But I still wished, even then, that she’d picked Duckie.
So, for those not in the know, Pretty in Pink is about Andie, a not particularly well off high school student. Andie wears things like this:
Mainly because it’s the 80s, but also, I like to think, because she’s got terrible fashion sense. I’m not sure red hair goes with pink all that much, but they were determined to shoe-horn her into pink in every damn scene. Also, Andie cut up her best friend’s prom dress to create this masterpiece, I don’t think I would have forgiven her for this.
Andie likes Blane (Blane! For goodness sake), a rich kid. I don’t have any pictures of Blane, because although I love Andrew McCarthy and think it’s a shame he seems to have disappeared into the world of TV movies, Blane is an ass and I just don’t want to see his face.
That’s kind of all the plot. Oh well, her best friend is Duckie, who is in love with her, and she and Blane have issues of acceptance from their separate groups of friends. Duckie, it should be added, is awesome. For some reason he puts up with all Andie’s crap, even though she doesn’t seem to treat him all that well, he’s got her back, and he attempts to beat up Smug Steff (James Spader at his best, or worst, whichever), which is reason enough. But if it isn’t, he also has the best scene in the film, when he lip-syncs to Try a Little Tenderness. Best. Scene. Ever.
So what’s right with it? Well, if you don’t have a great dislike for Blane and want to see them end up together, then there’s not much wrong with it. Andie is smart and hardworking and deserves some happiness. And Blane does eventually grow some sort of spine and tells Steff to f*ck off. He’s wearing a bad wig when he does it though, so it doesn’t quite have the same impact. Ah, reshoots.
The other good things are Harry Dean Stanton, as Andie’s broken hearted, lay about father, and Annie Potts, as her best friend, Iona. Potts basically steals every scene she’s in as the nostalgic, kooky Iona. I am ignoring James Spader in this, because I am never totally sure he’s not just playing himself.
And this is the bit where I rant about the bad stuff, because now when I watch this film I get annoyed, because her relationship with Boring Blane is ridiculous. They go on two dates and they’re in love? Was she aware on those dates? The first one showed them they didn’t belong in each other’s worlds – firstly at the party at his friend’s house, and then at the club with hers. Their second date is in a stable (!). He’s ashamed to be seen with you Andie. Because his shitty, smug, slimy friend Steff told you she was worthless. Way to stick up for your girl you prat. And that’s the thing that bugs we most of all, he does this bullshit line about how he ‘believed in you, I just didn’t believe in me’. Whatever. My jaw is on the floor dude. You were worried about what your friends would think so you dumped her. Actually, you didn’t dump her, you spinelessly avoided her and then told her you’d already asked someone else to the prom. LOSER! Gah.
Look, see, they’re a cute couple. This is how the film should have ended. But without that hideous frock.
It’s still a good film, in a guilty pleasure kind of way, but she should have ended up with Duckie, or, perhaps even better, she should have ended up alone. Stupid Molly Ringwald changing the ending. How can she pick Blane, he’s so damn wet?! He has no personality. She’s basically dating a plank. Also, IMDB trivia tells me that, had Robert Downey Jr been cast as Duckie, as was a possibility, the original ending would probably have been kept, because she didn’t get the ‘brother vibe’ from him, as she did with Cryer. I say watch Some Kind of Wonderful, Hughes’ attempt to fix what went wrong with Pink, where the right people get together.
Actually, that’s an excellent idea, I should get that.