Almost a hybrid of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, this time around John Hughes offered a tale of true love, despite the hindrances of social class separation and ever-present high school peer pressure. Pretty in Pink, released in 1986, was one of the many films starring the “Brat pack” and perhaps the best of the bunch.
Andie Walsh is a simple working-class teenager. She makes her own fashionable new-wave dresses out of secondhand clothing, works at the local record store to make ends meet, and lives on the “wrong side of the tracks” with her unemployed and rather unmotivated father. Her best friend is another blue-collar kid named Duckie Dale (Jon Cryer) who secretly has a crush on her. Both teens are the source of constant ridicule from the obnoxiously affluent “rich kids” who torment them at every opportunity. One exception, however, is hunky Blane (Andrew McCarthy) a rich kid who finds himself attracted to the outsider. And, make no mistake – the feeling is mutual.
Pressure is increased from both of the hormone-driven teens group of friends. Andie is warned by Duckie that she is going to be hurt down the road and Blane is ridiculed by his friends for being attracted to “a mutant.” Both of them remain undaunted, however, and set out on a date. Their first stop is a party thrown by Blane’s friends – and one that is none too welcoming to Andie. Next, they head over to a local club, only to have Blane confronted by an angry and jealous Duckie. At the end of the night, Blane is set to take Andie home but she is embarrassed about where she lives and asks him to take her to the record store instead. An argument ensues but Blane eventually gets his way and the night ends with a romantic kiss and a prom date.
Then peer pressure rears its ugly head as Blane’s friends convince him to distance himself from his mutant love interest. Andie confirms what she always suspected, that he is too embarrassed to be seen with her and another teenage heart is forever broken. But after some soul-searching, Andie goes to the prom anyway, alongside Duckie, to show the rich punks that “they didn’t break her.”
All the essential John Hughes ingredients were in abundance – cool clothing, plenty of slang, an outstanding music soundtrack, and, of course, the mandatory first kiss – everything a teenaged female moviegoer needed to swoon and dream of their own first kiss with a dreamy guy like Blane. It was a formula that would make John Hughes the undisputed king of the 80s teen flick.
If you have fond memories of watching Pretty in Pink, we’d love to hear your thoughts and recollections in our comments section.