I have to admit from the start, I have never found Molly Ringwald pretty in anything, let alone pink so my views of this film are initially tainted. And I do remember upon first viewing thinking it absolutely ridiculous that Andie ends up with bland Blane rather than loveably ecentric worshiper from afar Duckie. Now I am not so sure.

Pretty In Pink is probably the purest of the John Hughes teen movies (he didn’t direct this one but wrote and produced), in as much as it represents the kind of decisions teens actually make. Sure she is going to go with the good looking rich kid. The “being from the wrong side of the tracks” dillema does not really count for anything in the aspirational eighties – and anyway this is supposedly classless America. Not to mention the fact that Ringwald’s Andie seems impossible to speerate from her Breakfast Club teen princess, which is a completely different class. As a British teen watching it the only conflict was whether she would notice Duckie’s love for her or not. She doesn’t, she goes with insipid boy and probably ends up as conventionally happy ever after as one would expect (ie not really at all).

The fact that Pretty In Pink conforms to the probability rather than the flights of fictional fantasy that much of the (probably misfit) audience demanded* makes it a much bolder film than you might imagine. The cliches of film-maker, the supposed ur-narratives that later films have to be a variation on are actually rather rare. Pretty in pink is one such film, most teen romantic comedies are either variations or subversions of it. And on the plus side it does have the song that its named after in it. Albeit with a honking saxaphone on it. But she isn’t pretty in pink, cos she isn’t pretty at all.

*So much so it was remade with the sexes swapped and the other ending as Some Kind Of Wonderful.

Do You See