Pretty in Pink (1986)

Definitely lacks John Hughes’ visual dexterity by not having him behind the camera but his voice in the characters has ensured Pretty in Pink is regularly discussed as a key part of his canon. After rewatching it between a bunch of his directed movies, it definitely doesn’t hold its own against something like The Breakfast Club but as a vehicle for Molly Ringwald and a showcase for some stellar 80s new-wave tracks, it is a lovely little bottle of a fragrance so specifically dated to 1986.

The Duckie/Blane controversy feels minor now. Watching it in my mid-twenties, its clear Duckie is pretty insufferable and while Andrew McCarthy is mostly forgettable, Andie’s attraction to him makes sense. It’s not like Hughes thinks they’re going to get married and start a family but like Jake and Samantha in Sixteen Candles, it’s a believable high-school romance exactly how it should be. I also enjoyed James Spader’s typically sleazy turn (did he walk in out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel?) and especially the scenes between Ringwald and Harry Dean Stanton playing her father. What a lovely dynamic they share and what a fresh depiction of a father/daughter relationship. As with most of Hughes’s finest dramatic creations, it is both brutally honest and sickly sentimental. Annie Potts’ costume changes also rock as hard as the soundtrack. 

A dated movie but one I feel overall positive about. Though this rewatch feels somewhat definite. I can’t ever see myself revisiting Pretty in Pink again. R.I.P. (Rest in Pink)

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