Friday, June 27, 2008

Pointless in Pink

OK, so I just watched Pretty in Pink for the first time since it was first on HBO...sometime around 1987 or 88, I would guess. I loved all of the John Hughes movies to differing degrees (yes, even the ones that are now shockingly racist, I'm afraid), but I never really liked this one. It just didn't ring true with me. But in all of these different retrospectives, the love pours out for this picture in particular. So I thought "maybe I'm remembering it wrong" and watched it.

Still sucked. Worse now.

So, they go on a date, two dates if you count the first disaster, and share 20 lines together and guess what, they are in LOVE. Even though there is NO chemistry, somehow Andy and Blaine are in LOVE. And I know not to trust Hughes' treatment of love because later the wacky punk rock mother figure falls in LOVE after one date with the milquetoast pet shop owner.

Can I stress again the complete lack of chemistry between the two love birds? And yet here is this Duckie character, full of pepper, doing a fantastic Otis Redding, and whipping up all kinds of chemical reactions with Molly Ringwald. I know they shot a version where the two of them end up together, but test audiences didn't dig it. Of course they didn't.

Perhaps the real weak link, that which brings the rest of it crashing down, is the limp, opaque, insufferably dull Andrew McCarthy. He always lends a certain drained-of-blood, soulless, scrubbed sphincter face to any cast (Joy Luck Club, Less Than Zero) and it seems like it's always up to everyone else to add some color to the scene. Why he was cast in this (or anything else) is impossible to understand. Plus what's with that hair? Elulch.

Finally, I have to say it: The people who loved this movie because a "freak" girl was finally the central character should have expected more...even in 1985. Blaine is in LOVE with her, then he gives her the cold shoulder because his BFF (James Spader, never boring) says he won't be his friend anymore if he keeps hanging with that freak girl (hello, schoolyard?). So she goes to the prom to show them all that they didn't beat her--and Duckie shows up like a class act hero so that the lady doesn't have to stand alone--she runs into Blaine, and he drops this shit on her: "You said you couldn't believe in someone who didn't believe in you. Blah blah I always believed in you. You just didn't believe in me." Then he says he loves her ("Always." Gag) and walks out. After which Duckie tells her to go after him and she does. Blaine and Andy kiss at the car, etc., etc.

Did I miss something? Wasn't she calling him constantly? Wasn't he blowing her off? Was part of the movie cut? Why does everyone think this is so romantic? Please explain.

Great soundtrack, though.


Blogger Flushy McBucketpants said...

sounds lame to me. maybe there's a director's cut version with the Duckie & Blaine lovey dovey ending.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Shiny said...

There is, I think. On the DVD version? Or a rumor of one. Whatever. Lame.

Are you coming to NYC????

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is worth seeing BECAUSE of Duckie. Everybody loves Duckie, the character lives on in history. People only remember his lines, nobody remembers anything McCarthy said.
The pink dress should have been MUCH better, too. What the hell was that thing she wore to prom? And I'm thinking in mid-eighties fashion terms. If she was going to be a fashion designer than why wasn't that dress more fabulous?

5:50 PM  
Blogger Shiny said...

I remember being unimpressed with the dress back then, too. It isn't just a gulf of time separating us from our 80's fashion sense...the dress was just bad. And it was so cute before she butchered it!

I thought Annie Potts pulled her weight, too. Love that small doses.

8:48 AM  

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