Saturday, 30 October 2010

Film Review: PRETTY IN PINK (1986)

Director: Howard Deutch
Writer: John Hughes
Running time: 92 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

USA release date: 28th February 1986

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 30th October 2010.


Back in my youth I was into all kinds of music and, I guess, because I grew up with it, punk has always been very close to my heart. Now, one of the bands that were spewed out as a result of the punk phenomenon (pardon the pun) was The Psychedelic Furs. They happened to release a record called ‘Pretty In Pink’, their only hit, which also features quite strongly in this film (surprise, surprise!). I really love the song, but will the film match up? Let’s see. (As usual, summary haters please omit the next paragraph…).

Andie Walsh lives with her father Jack; they have been alone since her mother left three years previously. She attends the local school where her friend since childhood, the larger than life, Duckie (real name, Phil Dale) vies for her affections. Unfortunately for him he is firmly in the “friend zone” and she is interested in another boy, Blane McDonnagh. The problem is that Blane is one of the rich kids at school and they don’t mix well with the likes of Andie. Blane’s friend, Steff, tried to dissuade him from pursuing her, but he does anyway. Andie works part-time at a record store with her (older) friend, Iona. She is a kind of substitute mother figure, as well as being a friend. Prom night is coming up and Blane has asked Andie if she would like to go. Duckie is upset and steps out of the picture for a while. Will Blane stand up to his rich friends and take Andie anyway, will Andie realise just how much she’s hurt Duckie, or will the hall catch fire and kill everyone inside? (Nah, that’s not going to happen… just seeing if you’re paying attention…).

Although it looks very dated these days, I still kind of like this film. It’s pretty well made with some really good performances, especially from Molly Ringwald as Andie and Harry Dean Stanton as Jack Walsh. I also very much liked the performance of Jon Cryer as Duckie. Honourable mentions must also go to Annie Potts as Iona, James Spader as Steff and Andrew McCarthy as Blane.

I guess I would have liked this film more if it wasn’t for the fact that I didn’t believe the relationship between Andie and Blane. Yes, they are from opposite sides of the tracks and, yes, I have seen these things work many times before in movies, but this one just didn’t fly for me. It seems to me that she has much more in common with Duckie, who, by the way is the hero of the film in my opinion. But then, hey, what do I know? At the end of the day, although I found it a little far-fetched in places, and the ending a bit of a let down, still, recommended if just for Molly Ringwald's excellent performance.

My score: 7.2/10

IMDb Site:

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