Pretty in Pink (1986)

Blane's a pretty cool guy. Andie's pretty in pink. And Ducky's pretty crazy.

Andie is an outcast, hanging out either with her older boss, who owns the record store where she works, or her quirky high school classmate Duckie, who has a crush on her. When one of the rich and popular kids at school, Blane, asks Andie out, it seems too good to be true. As Andie starts falling for Blane, she begins to realize that dating someone from a different social sphere is not easy.

You're ashamed to go out with me.
Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is different to most kids at school. Being solely raised by her unemployed father, Jack (Harry Dean Stanton), and dressing in hand made clothes, she's very much from the wrong side of the tracks. It's tough in school as Andie and her pals are looked down on by the more wealthy students who make up the majority of the student body. With the prom on the horizon, Andie is feeling a little more bluer than normal, but hope comes in the form of Blane McDonough (Andrew McCarthy), a so called rich kid, who in spite of peer pressure asks Andie to the prom. This is something that alienates Andie and Blane from their so called friends.
As it turned out, "Pretty In Pink" was another in the line of John Hughes films that really hit the mark with the teenagers of the time. In fact it's fair to say it impacted with almost everyone who had suffered a less than straight forward climb through some angsty teenage years. It's not a perfect piece by any stretch of the imagination, for at times it's twee and at others a little trite, it is nevertheless a finely crafted piece that deals with teen perils and the ugliness of class division. Unfortunately the class divide is something that rarely gets associated with the pic, because focus tends to be drawn to the love story at its heart. Which is a shame, because although audience expectation will undoubtedly be met in that department, Hughes has plotted it nicely to make a valid point. There is also the real notable thread of the single parent here, where the single parent is a man and a man who is unable to break free of the escalating distress caused by the break up of his marriage to Andie's mother. The two best serious scenes in the film both involve the father/daughter axis, where both Ringwald and H.D. Stanton are simply terrific. Comedy relief comes in the form of Andie's best pals, Duckie (Jon Cryer our hero) and Iona (Annie Potts), with both characters neatly inserted into the structure of the piece. While the direction from Howard Deutch is careful and brings about reality based performances from the predominantly youthful cast.
Containing a kicking 1980s soundtrack from the likes of "New Order", "Echo And The Bunnymen", "Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark" and "The Psychedelic Furs", "Pretty In Pink" is a special movie on the CV of John Hughes. It will not be special to all comers, but for many, myself included, it strikes a mighty chord, one that was first heard back in the 1980's and for sure can still be heard today. 8/10

Paramount by Howard Deutch, John Hughes.
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts.

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Keywords: record store lovesickness class love crush outcast teenage crush slumber party relationship family school life origin

02/28/1986

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