Today marks the 30th Anniversary of John Hughes’ 80’s teen dramedy/coming of age film Pretty In Pink. The movie stars Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, James Spader and Annie Potts. It was written by creative genius, John Hughes and director by the great, Howard Deutch. The film follows the story of Andie (Molly Ringwald) and the troubles she faces when rich guy, Blane (Andrew McCarthy) asks her out. The film is part of the John Hughes’ classics that changed the cinematic world back in the 1980’s. It features themes such as the class divide between the rich and poor, moving on after heartbreak and being proud of your background and accepting the person you have become. It is without a doubt one of my all time favourite movies. It’s full of beautiful messages, well developed characters, it’s got the greatest soundtrack and Duckie Dale’s wardrobe is heavenly. I wanted to share why I love this movie so much, so read on to find out some of the reasons why I think Pretty In Pink is one of the greatest teen movies of all time.
John Hughes has created some of the greatest characters ever; from Kevin in Home Alone to Bender in The Breakfast Club. However, when I think about his best character it has to be Duckie Dale (Jon Cryer). I love everything about Duckie. His personality, his devotion to Andie, his care free attitude, his insanely good sense of style and most importantly his ability to dance around a record store to Otis Redding. I have learned so much from Duckie. He has taught me to accept who I am and to be proud of who I am. He has taught me to stand by my friends. He has taught me to embrace my sense of style and not to follow the crowd. And most importantly he has supplied me with a never ending supply of genius quotes that never fail to make me smile, “Blane? His name is Blane? Oh! That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name!”
The costume designer for Pretty In Pink is a genius, a true genius. 80’s fashion is my favourite, it’s full of life, colour and personality. It’s so exciting and people wore what they liked. I don’t know if I could ever pull of a look like Iona’s (Annie Potts) grunge look, but you gotta admit she pulls it off. 80’s fashion is bold, brave and brilliant! If I could look as good as Andie does in college I would be the happiest girl in the world. Each characters personality is represented perfectly through what they wear. Duckie’s collection of blazers donned with quirky broaches are to die for, Iona’s wacky and unpredictable outfits sum her up perfectly and Andie’s original and electric threads show she is not afraid to be herself. And let’s not forget Steff’s (James Spader) expensive linen suits, he sure did look dapper!
Pretty In Pink wouldn’t be a John Hughes classic without an unbelievably good soundtrack full of New Wave tracks from the golden era of music, the 80’s. The Pretty In Pink soundtrack is my personal favourite from all of John Hughes’ films. It’s got everything I could wish for and more, from The Smiths to The Psychedelic Furs. It’s full of huge 80’s rock tracks, but let’s not forget about the funky pop tracks that feature in the film; Barry Banilows ‘Copacabana’ and Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’. I can’t help but channel my inner Duckie Dale and dance around the kitchen when ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ is playing on the radio.
Now, even though I fully believe that Hughes should have stuck with the original ending to Pretty In Pink (where Duckie wins Andie’s heart) it doesn’t mean that I don’t like Blane. If I was a teen in the 80’s it’s safe to say my bedroom wall would be plastered with Andrew McCarthy posters. I am head over heels in love with him. The characters he plays are always so charming and sweet; I’m forever dreaming of meeting a guy like Kevin in St. Elmo’s Fire. The scene where he visits the record store where Andie works just to see her kills me. He is so interested in her and does so much to try and impress her. Can we please appreciate the scene at Steff’s party where he says “C’mon I’m utterly defenseless.” Oh be still my beating heart!
The final scene in Pretty In Pink is the prom scene set in a grand hotel where the seniors are decked out in their tuxedos and prom dresses. There are so many special moments in this scene, from James Spader in his white tuxedo- (hubba hubba!) to Blane showing his true colours and winning Andie back. However, my ultimate favourite moment in this scene is when Duckie appears at the top of the stairs when Andie arrives alone at prom. It is such a beautiful moment. The message is so special and it shows just how strong their friendship is. This scene proves to us that Duckie will be there for Andie no matter what. I will forever be devastated that the original ending was changed. In the original cut of Pretty In Pink Andie ends up with Duckie and they dance to David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ at prom. John Hughes wrote the most stunning end to the film with an iconic song, but sadly the audiences weren’t happy with it. John Hughes wanted Andie and Duckie to end up together and so did I. Let’s hope one day we’ll be lucky enough to see the original ending.
With or without the original ending this film is still one of my all time favourites. It’s full of class, bravery, love, strength and the best 80’s fashion and music. It features some of Hughes’ greatest characters and has inspired generation after generation of teenagers to embrace who they are. I’ll always think of the iconic Duckie scene whenever I walk into a record store, I’ll always dream of meeting a guy as charming as Blane, I’ll always long for an older, wackier friend like Iona and I’ll always strive to be as passionate, as proud and as pretty in pink as Andie.