Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Hughes: My Teen Savior. Pretty In Pink

This is part III of my homage to filmmaker, John Hughes, who passed away Thursday, August 6th:

Pretty In PinkThe ultimate revenge is to live a happy life...

....and to get the rich guy and piss off all his a-hole rich kid friends, right?

Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) does just that in "Pretty In Pink".

New Wave girl, Andie is not a "richie" and doesn't care to fit in with the popular kids who ridicule her on a daily basis. Just like the rest of the kids on the outer rim, Andie just wants to be accepted for who she is. Unfortunately, she is also ashamed of her family situation. Her mother skipped town and her father is jobless and depressed, leaving Andie to take over as "woman of the house" and sole bread winner. She's dealing with adult issues when she should really only be worrying about homework and boys. Two boys in particular. Duckie her best friend, who secretly loves her, and Blane, the "richie" she's got a crush on. And that, my friends, is where the drama starts.

First, let's talk about the fashion of Andie. Oh, how I loved her style, for which I'm certain Ringwald had plenty of input. I so wanted to be Andie. I loved her pink shabby chic (was that term even invented yet?) bedroom, her clothes, her pink car, and even the hip record store, Trax, where she worked. I mean, this girl was so very cool to me and, I'm sure, millions of teens around the world. How could James Spader's preppie bad-boy character, Steff, NOT want her? She's a smart girl with self respect who doesn't fall for his lines or his fancy car. Of course, this is probably what makes Andie all the more desirable to a privileged guy like Steff. For teenage girls around the world it was an inspiration to watch. If anything, it taught us to have respect for ourselves and hold out for a good guy like Blane.

Yes, I know Blane (Andrew McCarthy) was the rich kid with a heart of gold. He really liked Andie as she was. He wasn't like his friend, Steff, who only wanted Andie so he could add another notch to his belt. I know all this, but to this day, I think Blane was too much of a wimp. There was really nothing there to explain why Andie would have a crush on him. And really, I don't remember any boys in my high school dressing up like Don Johnson in Miami Vice, but if they did, I wouldn't have given them a second look. Definitely not my style.

Now, Jon Cryer's character, Duckie? I can't say enough about Duckie. He was a stand out character that changed the face of teen movies for me. Probably the first time I realized that geek guys were cool. He had awesome quirky style. He was witty. He was funny. He was smart. And, he worshipped the ground Andie walked on. How could she not end up with him in the end? Yes, that's right. Did you know the original ending had Andie end up with Duckie? Seems that test audiences didn't like that so they changed it. When I think about it, this might explain my ho-hum feelings about Blane. See, I knew in my gut that she was supposed to end up with Duckie. I don't know about you, but I would love to see it as originally intended. Maybe it's on the DVD.* I'll have to check this out further.

For now, I'll just have to be happy that Andie made it to the prom and showed those "richies" who's boss.

Come back tomorrow for part IV: Ferris Bueller's Day Off.


*No, I don't have any of these films on DVD. I do, however, have my very own original VHS recordings I made oh-so-many years ago. You remember don't you? Back then we would set the VCR to EP (extended play) in order to cram three movies onto one VHS tape? Yeah, I thought you would. Well, I still have all those tapes from my youth. Yes, that means I still have a VCR, too.

2 comments:

  1. You get extra invisible super cool points for rocking that VCR. I'm heartin' it.

    ReplyDelete

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