Pretty in Pink Movie Review

The youth of today -- the kids just entering their teens -- will they regard Molly Ringwald as a teen dramedy princess, or will she be known as a B-list queen of cheesecake horror films?

Pretty in Pink stands out as the perennial ladies' favorite from the Brat Pack era, with Ringwald turning in an unforgettable role (and role model) as a poor girl named Andie who takes care of dad (Harry Dead Stanton playing a stereotypical drunk), makes great grades (and her own clothes), all while finding herself pursued by no fewer than three guys. The real competition comes down to a war between the rich kid (Andrew McCarthy) and Andie's fellow poor-boy (Jon Cryer, whose wannabe hipster "Duckie" has become a legend of the era).

In the end, Pink turns into more of a treatise on economic strata than a romance. In fact, writer John Hughes (and Some Kind of Wonderful director Howard Deutch, who no one ever remembers) originally had Duckie getting the girl at the end of the movie. Audiences thought it rang false, and the ending was changed in reshoots. (You can tell McCarthy has lost weight if you watch closely. The bad wig he's wearing is more obvious.) Hughes wasn't making a statement about love, he was making entertainment by giving the audience what it wanted.

Regardless, the dialogue, scenarios, and emotions on display in Pretty in Pink are as close to real as 1980s teen romances could get. While I (and most males) would probably pick The Breakfast Club as our favorite film of the genre, it's also the most unrealistic (goth chick ends up with the football player? uh huh). For that, Pink deserves credit. It may not be the greatest love story ever told, but it might be the one with the most heart.

Unfortunately, the tons of extras on the new DVD are apparently lost in the ether somewhere. There's nothing (literally) in the way of bonus material here, which means that still we're not to be treated to the movie's original ending. Sob!

Pretty in, er, black.


Pretty in Pink Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: PG-13, 1986


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