Today is a beautiful day. It’s sunny out and (relatively) warm, it’s Friday, and I am in a great mood. But more important than all of those things put together is the fact that tonight, I am going to see…oh, only one of the best movies of all time on the big screen.
Whether or not you are a fan of John Hughes, you have to admit that his films were a huge part of 80s pop culture, helping to cement the careers of a handful of young actors (Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Eric Stoltz, Ally Sheedy, to name a few), and were seminal in the establishment of the teen movie as a genre. Which, as far as I’m concerned, was one of the most important developments of the 20th century. Sure, there were a few other “big” things that happened (women achieving the right to vote, desegregation, man walking on the moon, the invention of the internet by Al Gore, etc) but I’d say that the creation of the modern teen movie ranks pretty high up there.
Although The Breakfast Club is probably considered his masterpiece, Pretty in Pink is my favorite John Hughes movie (with Some Kind of Wonderful coming in a close second). Pretty in Pink has everything — great music, unbelievably awesome 80s fashion, a classic love triangle, new-wave hairdos…all set amidst the backdrop of the ’80s high school class divide (rich kids vs. poor kids, preps vs. outcasts) — obviously a recurring theme in Hughes’ work. Throw in a young James Spader in a crumpled linen suit in what is surely the most amazing portrayal of a rich sleazebag ever to hit the big screen, and what’s not to love?
I mean, look at this guy.
The disdainful smirk, the unbuttoned shirt, the feathered hair… goddamit, everything about this look is complete & utter perfection.
There’s one scene in the movie in which Blane (Andrew McCarthy) takes Andie (Molly Ringwald) to a party, and they stumble upon Steff (James Spader) and his rich bitch girlfriend Benny hooking up in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and oh my god Steff and Benny behave like such awesomely horrible rich douchebags to her that it makes me want to punch myself in the face from pure joy.
I need these two in my life so they can sit around all day making disparaging remarks about my outfits. Somebody please make this happen.
Anyway, I can feel this quickly devolving into a rant about why Steff is the best character in the movie so I’ll stop here for now, but there are many other amazing parts of this movie that we need to discuss (Duckie’s fashion stylings! Harry Dean Stanton! Annie Potts as Andie’s record store boss!) I’ll be posting this weekend about my thoughts on seeing Pretty in Pink again on the big screen, 25 years after I first saw it in theatres (I was 10). Will it live up to expectations? Will it be as good as it was all those years ago?*
*Spoiler alert: of course it will. Obviously I own the DVD and watch it every few months.
Most importantly, we will examine the music that appears throughout the movie and determine whether Hughes hit the mark with the songs he chose for the soundtrack.
I’m taking a walk down memory lane tonight, my friends. If all goes according to plan, at around 10:30 pm I will be sitting in a dark movie theatre sobbing with happiness as this song plays during the movie’s epic final prom scene:
“We’ve always had time on our sides
Now it’s fading fast
Every second, every moment
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last…”