Sunday, 2 August 2009

Retro Review: Pretty in Pink

Andie Walsh played by Molly Ringwald is the kid from the wrong side of the block who along with her friends has been given a pass to a privileged education at a top notch school. However everything is not so cheery as Andie and her mates are treated like second hand citizen by the in crowd. She draws on the support from her inner circle to get through the torment which include Duckie Dale played by Jon Cryer and Iona played by Annie Potts. Andie and Duckie are best friends who go way back although Duckie harbours stronger feelings for Andie. Meanwhile Andie has her eye on rich and popular guy, Blaine McDonough played by Andrew McCarthy and is astounded when he asks her out on a date. This does not prove to be popular with either of their friends and huge peer pressure poses a huge threat to their budding romance. Duckie is heartbroken as he long time plans of marrying Andie are cut short and Steff played by James Spader who is Blaine's best friend makes scathing comments about Andie.

This film was a huge success when it was released in 1986 and caught the imagination of teenagers all over the US. This was directed by Howard Deutch (who went on to direct Some Kind of Wonderful and Melrose Place) but the script was written by John Hughes. It is easy to see why it was so popular as it was one of the few of its kind; a film that explored the issues that were prevalent in teen life. Finding out who you are, dealing with peer pressure, trying to fit into social cliques, dating and working out what you want to do with your life. All these experiences are dealt with superbly in John Hughes films aka Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Some Kind of Wonderful which I blogged about here. I felt that Pretty in Pink was a pretty good movie and Molly Ringwald really creates a lot of empathy as Andie but it is her side kicks who steal the show. Jon Cryer who puts in a cracking performance as the very charismatic Duckie and Annie Potts is hilarious as Andie's quirky work buddy, Iona. What stands out about this film is the emphasis on youth culture hence Andie being a New Wave girl working in an indie record store. Andie's fashion sense is a the selling point of the film, her vintage and hand made wardrobe consisted of floral leggings, lace tops, boy blazers, waistcoats, trilby hats, cute cardigans, with layers of junk jewelery and lots of pink. Face it, Andie Walsh was the 80s Carrie Bradshaw.

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