Screenwriter John Hughes, whose speciality is teens in turmoil, scores with the screenplay for this latter-day Cinderella story played out with intelligence and caring.
Andie Walsh is a teenage girl who worries that her lower-class roots might affect her budding relationship with a wealthy classmate.
Molly Ringwald plays this poor but pretty girl who falls in love with Blane McDonough (Andrew McCarthy), a boy from a wealthy family. Their budding romance is not helped along by their different social backgrounds.
Ringwald invests a sense of reality in her role as Andie, while Jon Cryer is funny, outrageous, obnoxious and completely disarming as Ducky – Andie’s nerdy friend who dresses like a cross between a Harlem pimp and Jughead from The Archies.
James Spader is the smooth-talking popular Steff, a jerk trying to ruin our poor girl/rich boy romance by influencing his friend Blane to dump Andie (Ringwald).
But despite all of Stef’s evil efforts, Blane ultimately realises that fake friends and popularity aren’t equal to the love he has with the poor girl from the other side of town.
One of the best characterisations in the film comes from Annie Potts, who plays Iona, the owner of the record shop in which Andie works. Iona’s dialogue isn’t outstanding, but her character is wonderful to watch.
As a leftover hippie with spiked hair, Iona is an interesting mix of eras and ideas. She provides possibly the best scene in the film when she dresses up in her pink 1950s prom dress and bouffant hair and talks to Andie about her high school experiences.
Pretty In Pink epitomises everything that made the 80s a great time for teen flicks: – Secret loves, proms, a great soundtrack and a token American ‘New Waver’ with a fast mouth and a garish dress sense . . .
Molly Ringwald was the figurehead of the 1980’s “Brat Pack” – the one who first made the magazine covers and caught the public’s attention. Unfortunately, she was typecast in that role and, when the 80s ended, so too, it seemed, did her career.
In the end credits, the movie is dedicated to Alexa Kenin (who played Jena). She died suddenly in New York shortly after completing the movie. The exact cause of Kenin’s death has never been made public.
Pretty In Pink was shot at the same high school as Grease (1978). John Marshall High School in the Los Feliz suburb of Los Angeles was a pop culture hub for cinematic classics like Grease (1978), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), and more.
The school was also used for television series like The Wonder Years, and Growing Pains.
Harry Dean Stanton
Phil “Ducky” Dale
The Diceman (A Bouncer)
Andrew Dice Clay