Pretty in Pink (1986)
written by John Hughes
directed by Howard Deutch

My favorite movie from my adolescence, my favorite Molly Ringwald film, and the one John Hughes film that hit closest to home with my own life, Pretty in Pink still holds a place in my favorite movies list, and most likely always will.

The story of a girl raised by a single parent, who grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, went to a High School with a bunch of rich kids who seemed to think they were better because of money and status, who worked in a record store, and whose best friend was just as quirky as she was (if not more) could be ripped pages from my own upbringing. I wore thrift shop clothes that I pieced together to come up with something that fit together with a sense of self I was trying to come up with. I listened to music that was on the fringes of punk and goth, alternative when it really was alternative, and hung out at darkened, smokey clubs where some of these bands played. I knew what it was like to have to be a grown-up and the responsible one in my teen years, not necessarily by choice.

My Duckie and Blaine came a few years after High School, though I watch the movie now and can see both the attraction and detraction in both choices. That said, I still believe Duckie was the better choice. No matter how many times I watch Blaine tell Andie that he believed in her, just did not believe in himself, I still do not believe it. He felt spineless to me, and hurt her more than he ever seemed to be there for her. Yes, there were moments, but not enough to warrant her choice at the end.

I hope to someday find, and see, the original cut of the film where she did choose Duckie, and the two of them danced to David Bowie’s Heroes (one of my all-time favorite songs, by the way) at the dance. To me, Duckie was her hero, and always there for her.

Musically speaking, Pretty in Pink is in my top five list of best movie soundtracks ever, featuring some of my best loved bands from the late 80’s: OMD, Suzanne Vega, Inxs, The Psychedelic Furs and New Order. Though, I do think they should have included the Otis Redding song (see above) on the soundtrack, as well as the band from the club scene (and one of Molly Ringwald’s favorite bands at the time), The Rave-Ups.

If You Leave :: OMD

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