Tuesday, March 11, 2008

She Should Have Ended Up With Duckie

Last night Ryan and I were flipping through the channels playing our favorite game of "let's find something to watch that won't annoy either of us" when we can upon a hidden treat: A John Hughes movie marathon. And the movie playing at that moment was, in my humble opinion, the best one of the series: Pretty in Pink. You know, rich boy, poor but really talented and hip girl overcoming the stigmas of society to find true love, all set to a brilliant New Wave soundtrack. A masterpiece. The greatest romantic depiction of my generation. Oh, and complete and utter bullshit. You see, as I was watching it I realized I was no longer 13, or even 26. I was seeing it through the yes of a 33 year old who has lived long past high school and realized that that time in life really wasn't a candy coated dreamworld filled with never ending romances, or, for that matter, people you would ever talk to again after graduation. Watching this movie with those eyes made it into the most absurd and melodramatic thing I had ever seen.

Let's just look at the central event of which Pretty in Pink revolves: the prom. Everyone in this movie talks as it is the biggest event that could ever happen in their lives -- EVEN THE ADULTS. Andie is elated when Blaine (yes, that was his name) asks her to go with him, and then thrown into the pit of despair when he cancels due to peer pressure. That leads to tears, and a fiery Scarlett O'Hara like determination to go to the prom without him. She even sews her own dress just to show him, and his friends that "they didn't break [her]." And, oh yes, those are exactly the words she used. Luckily, the prom is redeemed though when Blaine tells Andie that she just "didn't believe in him" and that he would love her "always." Now, I'm guessing what he really meant was "I'll love you until I go off to Princeton and you stay here at vocational school, but I'd like to get laid now," but whatever it meant it had Andie running straight into his arms, and had every frizzy haired, big sweatshirt wearing girl squealing in delight.

Oh, and the surrounding characters! Steff? Blaine's preppy friend? How did anyone not notice that James Spader was 30 years old when offering him that part? And the accent he used was pure Mr. Howell from Gilligan's Island. And the blatant smoking on school grounds? Actually though, I guess that was pretty accurate, since most of the teachers must have assumed he was a parent. Then there was Iona, the hipster, cool/mentor for Andie. Owner of a record shop and dater of a pet shop owner. And her best friend is 16. As if anyone past the age of 16 wants to hang out with 16 year olds. I don't even like talking to them when they're filling my order at a drive thru. Oh, and let's not forget Harry Dean Stanton as Andie's poor, alcoholic, heartbroken father. Actually, I don't even think Harry Dean knows he was in this movie. It just so happened they were shooting it in his house and he wandered into some shots.

Really, the only redeeming thing I can find in this movie any more is Duckie. Dear, sweet Duckie. Andie's friend and official torch carrier. The only one who loves her no matter what, and the person she treats like a mentally disabled seven year old. I wish that there was a sequel showing Duckie after meeting that hot blonde at the prom Duckie ditching Andie and walking like a man, not even bothering to pick up the phone when she called to complain about Blaine's new Princeton study buddy Buffy. It would end with him going to a trailer park to collect Andie's rent check, and telling her that her pink mumu made her look "frumpy."

I guess trying to watch movies of my childhood is like trying to play with Barbies again. It's amusing, and kitschy, but it never has the same pizazz. It's a good thing I figured this out though before trying to watch St. Elmo's Fire, because if I ruined that legend I don't think I could live with myself. I mean, don't all just out of college newspaper writers score a front page op-ed piece on the meaning of life in the Washington Post? Oh, no, my world is melting!!!

3 comments:

L@pterces said...

James Spader was *only* 26 at the time... Steff was my favorite character in the movie. Who else would wear an Armani suit to high school? I think that took more chutzpah than smoking in the hall- talk about an invitation to get beat up. I really didn't get into the John Hughes movies when I was younger- consequently I frequently confuse the details of one with another, except for 'Ferris Bueller' of course.

Amanda said...

Steph was actually a narc - as was his cougar -oops- girlfriend.

Also, Pretty in Pink was supposed to be more progressive than it really was - Andie initially had two dads, due to a poker game between Harry Dean & Gary Busey, which would not end.

Emily-Ione said...

Fine, ruin my dreams of what high school was supposed to have been like!