Tag Archives: pretty in pink

Pretty in Pink: The Jams

30 Jul

Oh, Pretty in Pink week. How quickly you flew by. We laughed (at Duckie), we cried (also because of Duckie), our hearts fluttered. I’m sad to see it go, yet excited to share with you one of the best parts of PIP: the music! The entire soundtrack is great, but here are some of my favorites. So much New Order!



And my ultimate favorite, the song that’s played during the “getting ready for prom” montage.

The Best Line, Ever.

29 Jul

If We’re Gonna Shoot, We’ve Gotta Shake It

29 Jul

Pretty in Pink is about a love triangle: Andie, Blaine, Duckie. But why can’t it be a love rectangle?

Steff. Steff! He strolls through the film perpetually stoned, shirt unbuttoned to the navel and eyes half closed. “You’re gonna be late, buddy,” he tells Blaine, while seemingly unconcerned about ever making it to class himself.

James Spader epitomized the 80s teen movie villain. He also doesn’t look a day over 35! “The girl was, is, and will always be nada,” he says about Andie, all the while trying to get in her rose-print leggings. Can you feel the longing in this glance?

Someone made this delightful video, which shows that Steff was clearly the star of the film.

Duckie vs. Blaine: An Exhaustive Study of Pretty in Pink

28 Jul


Pretty in Pink is, on the surface, a love story between Andie and Blaine, with Duckie hanging out on the side like some sort of bolo-wearing third wheel. The thing is, as much as I love this movie (so much), I have to admit that Andie and Blaine are kind of boring.

If I had to describe Andie, I don’t know that I could. There aren’t many things she is; instead, she’s defined by what she isn’t. She isn’t cool. She isn’t rich. She isn’t dressed like the other girls. In essence, she’s every girl seeing this movie. If a girl was cool, rich, and well-dressed, she was probably at some cool, rich, well-dressed party, not watching Pretty in Pink. Andie is a blank slate of an outcast. By not being a defined character, she allows us to project our own inadequacies and desires onto the story.

And that’s where Blaine comes in. In the words of philosophers the Backstreet Boys, it doesn’t matter who he is, where he’s from, or what he did. Andie’s going to like him because he likes her. He’s reasonably nice, he has a killer smile, and he’s well-liked, but that’s not the point. The point is he’s pursuing her, and no one else has ever done that before. Do you remember the first guy who liked you? Really liked you? The first guy who asked you out, cared what you said, thought you were interesting and funny and smart? Do you remember how magical that seemed, that someone could like you, the weirdo, the loser, the strange one? Blaine isn’t a person, he’s a promise. He’s validation to Andie, in-the-flesh proof that a normal guy with a flawless smile can fall for her. She’s not so alone after all.

Duckie, however, is the opposite of Blaine. Not just a concept, he’s a fully realized character (although his sans-Andie troubled home life is only hinted at). He’s flamboyant, funny (his diatribe against the state of modern love songs in Andie’s car is so charmingly silly, it still makes me laugh), and overwhelmingly, heartbreakingly in love with Andie. You can buy a t-shirt bearing the slogan “I Would’ve Picked Duckie.” That’s how upset people still are over the perceived miscarriage of justice that is Andie and Blaine. And, to be certain, in high school I would’ve chosen Duckie as well. I still might. Wouldn’t it be good to be with a guy who makes no bones about the fact that he finds you simply fabulous? A guy who wants nothing more out of life than to admire you day after day after day? Pardon me if my insecurity is showing, but that’s kind of my fantasy.

I don’t think it’s Andie’s. While she’s ashamed of her poverty, she’s not ashamed of herself. She doesn’t find it unbelievable that Blaine would like her. I don’t think she wants or needs the 24/7 adoration that Duckie provides. What’s more, it’s clear that she’s just not into him romantically. She sighs at his messages, rolls her eyes when he talks, and kind of leads him on a bit (remember the neck petting scene when they’re studying in her room? Surely I can’t be the only who thought that was strange!). It’s all of this that makes Duckie’s climactic speech, right before Andie’s date with Blaine, all the more upsetting.

Duckie: He’s gonna use your ass and throw you away. God, I would have died for you! You can’t do this and respect yourself.

Andie: You’re saying that just because I’m going out with Blaine.

Duckie: Blaine? His name is Blaine? That’s…that’s a major appliance! That’s not a name!

Andie: Just because I’m going out with Blaine doesn’t mean I can’t be your friend. It doesn’t change how I feel about you.

Duckie: That’s very nice. I’m glad. Here’s the point, Andie. I’m not particularly concerned with whether or not you like me. ‘Cause I live to like you, and…I can’t like you any more.So when you get your heart splattered all over hell and you feel low, and dirty, don’t look to me to help pump you back up,’cause…’cause maybe for the first time
in your life, I won’t be there.

Of course he would’ve died for her. His devotion is so complete that I don’t think he’s being hyperbolic. As strongly as he feels, none of it matters. As much as she should’ve liked him, she didn’t.

I’m glad Andie ended up with Blaine at the end because it represents a high school fantasy far more romantic than ending up with someone you don’t love. Say what you will about Blaine, but when he emotionlessly mutters things like, “If I was in a Turkish prison, I’d have a great time with you,” or “Would you feel any better if I asked you to Prom?” or “I love you. Always,” I feel the exact same heart-flutterings I felt at 16. I mean, these are some adult things to say. As adorable as it is when Duckie says, “This is a really volcanic ensemble,” Blaine’s speaking like a man. A man who’s going after what he wants, which, ultimately, is pretty attractive to most women, whether they’re 17 or 27.

I think Andie and Blaine probably try to make it work after high school. He goes to Princeton or Yale, while she attends community college for a year so she can live at home and save money. He pays for her to fly out to see him on the weekends, but the strain gets to be too much and they break up. Andie eventually ends up at Emerson or NYU and meets a guy who runs an underground music zine. Things are weird with Duckie for awhile, but they’re friends for life. Blaine ends up marrying a lady named Barb. Oh, and Andie’s dad gets a job. FINALLY.

Blaine.

27 Jul

Blaine gets a lot of flack from people who would’ve chosen Duckie, but he has his moments. Specifically, his proto-AIM wooing attempts in the high school library. I couldn’t find the clip on Youtube, but I DID find this adorable reenactment by children! That little boy does a better Andrew McCarthy than Andrew McCarthy!

This GIF is the exact scene that gets me all heart-fluttery. The dual sides of Blaine (creepiness and dreaminess) are both represented. Popping up behind the partition? Yikes! But that smile? Swoon!

I get what Andie sees in him. You know what I don’t understand? What sort of technology he was using to message her.

Try A Little Tenderness

26 Jul

Have you heard the new Jay-Z/Kanye West track, Otis? It’s basically just Try a Little Tenderness with a little bit of rapping, but I’m not complaining.

Try a Little Tenderness is, of course, in the best-known and most-loved scene from Pretty in Pink.

I don’t know if this counts as a Musical Declaration of Love, firstly because it’s lip-syncing, and secondly because Duckie’s not declaring his love so much as his honest-to-God weirdness. I would’ve chosen Duckie. Blaine has a lot going for him (strangely appealing crazy eyes, a nice pair of pants, stone-age computer skills…that’s about it), but he sure doesn’t have moves like this.

Lady Style: Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink

25 Jul

There are many reasons I love Pretty in Pink, but Molly Ringwald’s amazing sense of style is probably the most important.

I can’t not mention The Dress first. Andie is, as the movie tells us often, poor. She can’t afford one of those fancy department store prom dresses, so she ends up with two free dresses, one from her boss/friend Iona, and one that her dad buys on sale because he knows she can “do something with it.” Instead of wearing either of those perfectly serviceable dresses, she cuts them up and pieces them back together into the Frankenstein’s monster of prom dresses. She starts with this:

Becomes inspired by an ill-advised sleeveless turtleneck:

And ends up wearing this monstrosity, a dress that manages to be both the most horrendous and most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen:

I’ve always considered going as Prom Andie for Halloween, but assumed I’d have to wear a red wig (unflattering). Then I found this picture and I realized I can, and should, make all my dreams come true. Have I mentioned I love Amy Poehler?

Andie has great style outside of the prom, of course. She wears a lot of hats:

And some dramatic collars:

And this is a dress she wears on her first date with Blaine:

“Do you want to go home and change?”
“…I already did.”

Andie is the main reason I learned how to sew. There’s a great sewing/getting ready for prom montage in PIP that always makes me want to create something. Like I could ever make a dress this great!

Pretty in Pink Week

24 Jul

I’m passionate about 80’s teen movies, but probably not the ones you like. “Oh, like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club?” you’re thinking. “Jake Ryan and Ally Sheedy’s dandruff and Paul Dooley and Molly Ringwald putting lipstick on with her boobs?” Well, no. Those are perfectly fine movies, but I think The Breakfast Club is too serious for me. Sixteen Candles has its moments, but Jake Ryan is not my type. My favorite 80s teen movies, in order of importance, are:

1. Pretty in Pink
2. Valley Girl
3. Better Off Dead
4. Some Kind of Wonderful

No one ever talks about those movies. Classics of cinema all! But Pretty in Pink is really something special.

I just have all these feelings about Pretty in Pink. A lady shouldn’t have feelings this strong about a movie. I first saw it on television when I was 14, and I instantly fell in love with the version of high school it portrayed. Andie (Molly Ringwald) is a poor girl who literally lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Her best friend, Duckie (Jon Cryer), is pathetically and adorably in love with her. Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) is a rich prepster who thinks Andie’s “got something special” and falls for her. But will their love ever be realized? Will Duckie ever get the girl? Will Andie’s Dad get a job? And what about prom, Blaine? WHAT ABOUT PROM?!

Everything was dramatic, but not over-the-top. There was humor, but it wasn’t slapstick. The clothes were definitely of the 1980’s, yet mostly still looked good (but let’s not talk about the prom dress right now). The music was sublime. The cast was star-studded (Harry Dean Stanton, James Spader, Annie Potts).

Basically, I wanted this movie to happen to me. I wanted to be Andie. I was already a total weirdo, so all I needed was a job at a record store, the ability to sew my own clothing, and a couple of guys who were in love with me. I spent four years wondering where my Duckie was, only to realize that I was Duckie. And not in an empowering “Be your own Duckie!” sort of way. I just dressed weird and was kind of obsessive.

There are so many reasons I love Pretty in Pink that I’ve declared this week Pretty in Pink week. Watch it and let’s discuss, ladies. Let’s talk about the music, the clothes, Steff (STEFF!), and that eternal debate: Duckie vs. Blaine.

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