Review 46: Pretty in Pink (1986)
I have often found myself to be a John Hughes fan, and that works out because my wife loves lots of his movies. On Valentines Day, there was a showing of Pretty in Pink, which has 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, at Cinemark in Lakeland that we ventured to with our 11-year-old. It turns out, I’d never sat through the entire movie so it was like my first viewing too.
Andie (Molly Ringwald) is a girl living in poverty with her father (Harry Dean Stanton) working at a record store with Iona (Annie Potts) while finishing high school. Her best friend, Duckie (Jon Cyer), is hopeless in love with Andie and doesn’t know how to tell her. Andie’s whole world is changed when a richie, Blane (Andrew McCarthy) expresses an interest in her and she is swept off her feet.
I’m pretty sure this is when “friend zone” was invented. Duckie is the ultimate love interest that is perfect for her, but she just can’t see it. My favorite scene in the film is Duckie’s lip sync serenade in the record store. He isn’t able to come out and tell her how he feels, but he isn’t ashamed to demonstrate it in hope she will figure it out for herself.
The performances are exactly what they need to be in order for this film to work. Even thirty-years later the film holds up and had a rather large audience still laughing. The idea of finding acceptance and star-crossed lovers goes back through the ages of story telling. There is something inherently relatable with the subject and it makes for a good time at the movies.
This one is entirely subjective, but the end of the film may not be what you’re hoping for. There are two versions of the ending, the one that was originally intended, but that the focus groups shot down. The ending that actually becomes canon found its audiences much happier and so it has been for decades. Depending on whom you are rooting for in the battle of Duckie vs. Blane will determine whether or not this truly belongs in the bad section of this review.
It was a great experience seeing this on the big screen. It is always easier for me to commit 100% of my attention to a movie when I’m in the theater. My desire to be courteous to the others watching and my desire to get my money’s worth keeps my often inattentive brain in check and I don’t miss a minute of the film. I give Pretty in Pink a 7 out of 10 hand-me-down prom dresses.