I grew up in the 1980’s yet somehow I never managed to see Pretty in Pink (1986) during that decade or in the 18 ensuing years. I saw pretty much every other John Hughes movie including the other two with Molly Ringwald – Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club – in the theaters and multiple times on cable, so this is even stranger. Thanks to Susan and Netflix we’ve addressed this void.
The verdict: it’s a pretty good flick. Molly Ringwald plays poor girl Andie in love with rich boy Blane (Andrew McCarthy). Their star-crossed romance is challenged by the prejudices and expectations of their friends. The movie avoids the cliches and shows some real emotional depth, although it is also fluffy fun.
As an extra bonus, Pretty in Pink has a kickass soundtrack with New Wave tracks by New Order, O.M.D., and The Psychedelic Furs, stuff I still listen to on my iPod (when my son is old enough he’ll probably tell me that this is old fogey music). It also includes James Spader before he became the go-to guy for creepy sexual deviant roles, here playing the blonde, feather-haired rich kid villain. Kate Vernon makes an appearance as Spader’s girlfriend long before playing Ellen Tigh on Battlestar Galactica. And Annie Potts has a nice supporting role as Andie’s eccentric mentor/mother figure. I never liked her much in Ghostbusters so it was nice to see another side of her acting ability.