Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pretty in Pink (1986) Film Review

Plot Summary - John Hughes high school brat pack movie. Andrew McCarthy plays rich, preppy guy Blane who loves a girl from the "wrong side of the tracks", Andie (Molly Ringwald). Andie wears cool, pink, retro-look outfits she puts together herself from home-sewn clothes and thrift store finds, she works in a record store, and has a best guy pal named Duckie (Jon Cryer), a quirky school outsider who is madly in love with her. Blane hangs out with the rich jerks of the school including a real piece-of-work named Steff (James Spader) who wears a white linen suit to high school (he's meant to look rich and cool, I suppose) and this Steff apparently spends a whole lot of time with his blow dryer making his blond feathered hair look oh so perfect - he's also hot for Andie himself (but has been turned down by her for the whole four years of high school). So when Blane asks Andie out, his jerk pal tries to keep them apart by telling Blane she's a loser. Now - why in movies do people always seem to listen to their creep friends when deciding on who to date? Anyway, Blane and Andie must now work through all the problems presented by their "chums" and try to make this work (will he take her to the prom or won't he?).

Review - Well, this is another one of those high school John Hughes movies from the 80s that I love - it's one of those guilty pleasure films that I just keep watching again and again. Eighties nostalgia, the clothes, the music, the brat pack, gorgeous Andrew McCarthy - that's what it's all about. Okay, a few things I wonder about: first, when Blane and Andie have their first date - why do they only seem able to find something to do together that involves being with one or the other's group of friends resulting in one or the other getting snubbed. Blane's in the money - couldn't he take her out to dinner just the two of them, maybe a movie, or how about bowling? Now, here's another thing - Andie is made fun of at school by the "richies" for her unusual clothing style, but when I saw this film when it was brand new (and me at 25 years old at the height of my "always had to have the newest, trendiest clothes" days) I didn't think that made much sense because it is Andie's outfits in this that are very hip and trend-setting for the time, she has a real sense of style (except for the rather unattractive prom dress she puts together). Must mention, there are a number of females in this that sport that hideous permed hairdo that so many women were wearing when this was filmed - ugh, never did that to my hair. And by the way, I must also mention, did anyone ever *actually* wear the sort of "Miami Vice" style suit that James Spader wears in this to high school?! Anyway, this is a very fun film, very well acted by all - James Spader is particularly good and suitably smarmy in his part, Annie Potts is great as Andie's co-worker/gal pal from the record store, an eccentric thirty-something who's normally sporting a punk look. There's plenty of chemistry between the two leads, the romance featured in this is definitely swoon-worthy. There's also a really good soundtrack of New Wave songs throughout the film - I bought the record album at the time, which I still have. The title tune "Pretty in Pink" was and still is one of my fave New Wave songs from the 80s. Rating - 9/10 stars

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