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.
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.
I mean, let’s consider her various outfits:
Speaking of Iona, she rocks:
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.
I honestly have to say that I think the character with the best style is…Duckie.
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:
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.
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…
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!