Pretty In Pink, Isn’t She?

Pretty in Pink

Aw, you guys. Seeing Pretty in Pink on the big screen was just as good as I had hoped it would be. Even though I’ve watched it a million times on DVD (not to mention every time it’s on TV), there’s just something about being there in the theatre getting the full moviegoing experience that makes it really special.

This time around, I kept thinking about the fact that Robert Downey Jr. auditioned for the role of Duckie Dale and came very close to winning the part. If RDJ had been cast, I think it would have been an entirely different movie. I mean, Jon Cryer did an excellent job and imbued the character with a certain exasperating-yet-endearing charm, but there were no sparks between him and Molly Ringwald. If you watch the movie picturing RDJ in the role, you can definitely imagine Andie ending up with Duckie instead of Blane.

This works for me. You?

Anyway, here are my thoughts on seeing the movie again in the theatre, 25 years after the first time…

Best/Worst ’80s Fashion:

Since fashion is such a big part of this movie, let’s start here. As a kid I thought Andie’s clothes were the best, and obviously she is meant to be some sort of style guru, throwing together vintage-inspired outfits for pennies and sewing her own prom dress (more on that later). Everyone in the movie is always blathering on about how amazing her clothes are, but you know what? I’m not sold.

duckie + andie

You, sir, are obviously blind.

I mean, let’s consider her various outfits:


This is straight-up hideous.




Secretly kind of awesome, but also totally horrible.


I think Blane's face says it all here...


This, I actually love. But it's her gym uniform, so I don't know if it counts.


You would think I would like this jacket. But I don't.


I am totally into this look. But it's pj's…kind of hard to fuck up.


I have to admit that everything about this outfit is perfect, & I want that varsity jacket. Iona also looks adorable here in her vintage prom dress.

Speaking of Iona, she rocks:


Imagine this was your boss.


I love it that she gets this dolled up just to lounge around her apartment.

I’ve already talked about the awesomeness that is Steff’s look. Blane…meh, I don’t even know what to say. Everything he wears is so boring that it almost put me to sleep.


You may be adorable, Andrew McCarthy, but not even you can pull of this sweater. However, you make up for it a little by looking so cute in your Ray-Bans. Iloveyou.

I honestly have to say that I think the character with the best style is…Duckie.


Love the jacket, love the vest, love the shoes, love everything.


Fantastic blazer.


I actually own a jacket that is pretty much identical to this one.

andie + duckie

Very dapper.

We will not even mention the abomination that is Andie’s prom dress. Even as a 10 year old, in the ’80s, I was like “wtf you have got to be kidding me”. She was sewing for days and THIS is what she came up with? Here’s a wider angle shot so you can experience the full atrociousness of it:

blane + andie

Seriously, WHAT is this? I can't even…

A couple of other style notes:

  • I love it that all the poor kids in the movie wear Converse.
  • Everyone at the prom, with the notable exception of Andie, looks completely amazing. The girls are all dressed in pouffy pastel sequined numbers and the guys are wearing like, white tuxedos and other such excellent nonsense. I am in love with it all. During this scene I leaned over to the Finn and whispered: “This is exactly what your prom looked like, isn’t it?” “You know it did,” he replied. “You’ve seen the pictures”. I sighed happily. Even though I, tragically, was deprived of the experience of an ’80s prom, just knowing that such perfection actually existed at one point in time fills me with complete and utter joy.

Best/Worst Character:

Even though my 10-year-old self was too young to fully comprehend the delightful evilness of Steff, he is now of course my favourite character. I mean, if you have a soul you cannot possibly want to be friends with this guy, but James Spader delivers such a pitch-perfect performance here that it’s hard not to appreciate it. He is frankly kind of terrifying. Here is a compilation of some of his more memorable lines from the movie:

I love the way he tries to make Blane feel like he’s the one being the bad friend, and I love when he calls Andie a bitch because she won’t go out with him. But the best part is when he spits on the floor OF HIS HIGH SCHOOL. Amazing. Also, I couldn’t find a clip of this but when he’s at the prom with Benny, his girlfriend, she’s bitching to him about something and he says “Look, I don’t give a shit what you do”. The way James Spader delivers this line kind of makes my life.

I really, really hate to say this, but the worst character might be…Blane. You have NO IDEA how much it pains me to write that. I literally had the biggest crush ever on Andrew McCarthy in this movie. But Blane really is…kind of spineless. I mean, he pushes back a little against his friends but he puts up with a lot before he FINALLY stands up to Steff at the prom. The fact that he and Andie end up together is kind of ridiculous and the only reason it works is because Andrew McCarthy is so cute (and has really nice eyes…What? As a conscientious blogger it is my responsibility to notice these details). And during the romantic scenes, he does that thing that some guys do where they touch your face a lot when they’re kissing you. It’s hard to explain without it sounding weird but it’s actually really great.

See what I mean? Sigh…

The Soundtrack

pretty in pink

Okay, right off the bat I’m gonna say that this record gets extra points on account of the fact that it is PINK. Yes! Why don’t more people do this? Anyway, not only is it fantastic looking, it also contains some excellent tracks. ‘Pretty in Pink’ by the Psychedelic Furs is obviously amazing, as is OMD’s ‘If You Leave’ and The Smiths’ ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’. I also love ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’ (Danny Hutton Hitters) and ‘Bring on the Dancing Horses’ (who doesn’t like a bit of Echo & The Bunnymen now and then?) Suzanne Vega and INXS are always good calls, too. All around, I would say this is an excellent soundtrack, although I have always been a little perplexed that they included New Order’s ‘Shell Shock’. Not that I dislike that song, but ‘Thieves Like Us’ and ‘Elegia’ are also used in the movie and they are both superior tracks in my opinion. Just sayin’. On that note, I will leave you with the vid for ‘Pretty in Pink’. Enjoy!

9 responses to “Pretty In Pink, Isn’t She?

  • mspen

    How do you do that with the videos?.. awesome!

  • Trevor Black

    That is awesome video work!
    I tried out that dress up shit for a while finding my so called identity…bolo ties, winkle pickers, dinner jackets, it was fun!

    Steff was jealous, Andie saw the devil he was right off, no fucken’ soul! Just a poor little rich boy with no imagination, but to put down everything he couldn’t control/have, holier than thou wining all the while!

    I also, thought Andie should have made it with Duckie’s character as well as who should’ve been RDJ,(I didn’t know about this change, uncool!) but, that’s Holywood story telling huh! It’s always a fantasy…

    A lot pretty good music though…(Some Kind Of Wonderful) = (Flesh for Lulu – Postcards From Paradise) Very cool track!

    Wow! we could go on all night about this stuff! tee ha! lol

    • Spencer

      I love ‘I Go Crazy’ by Flesh for Lulu on the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. That is another great movie. I may have to watch it again & write a post.

      Apparently the reason RDJ didn’t get the role is because Molly Ringwald felt that she could totally fall for him, and they wanted someone she didn’t have chemistry with (because she was ultimately supposed to end up with Blane). I dunno…I heard there was an alternate ending originally planned where she did get together with Duckie. Who knows? I adore the movie as it is, but I would have LOVED to have seen what RDJ would have done with the role. He was so great back then (Less Than Zero, etc) He still is great.

  • Yada

    I must confess, the reason I too watch PIP time and time again is because of Steff. Even though he is a total jerk it is James Spader’s innate sexiness that makes me want to knock Steff over and ravish him…can’t help it.

    Mindy Kaling, Kelly on The Office, said, “Spader is so sensual it is unnerving. Whenever I talk to him I feel like group sex will be starting in five minutes.” (This might be slightly paraphrased.) This is what he brought to Steff and why I will always love this character and movie.

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