Still Pretty in Pink
May 25, 2013 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Get yourself to the thrift store and channel Andie.
posted by HuronBob (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice little essay, but all I can think when I see stills of Molly Ringwald from this movie is that as an autumn, she so does not look pretty in pink. Also that the prom dress was an absolute horror.
posted by orange swan at 6:10 PM on May 25, 2013 [18 favorites]


That article is great. Maybe I am too old to perceive it, but it doesn't seem there are movies today that serve a comparable role for today's teens, as those classic John Hughes films did for mine.

I have long thought that The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful were the canonical John Hughes teen movies. For some reason I don't consider Ferris Bueller's Day Off to be a classic in the same way. The four that I consider the canonical ones seemed special in the way they were plaintive paeans to the high school misfit. Ferris Bueller, as the ultimate cool-guy trickster, was just not as "real."
posted by Unified Theory at 6:29 PM on May 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Article is worthless without pics of author's thrift store fashions.
posted by surplus at 7:00 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would love to see a similar piece comparing and contrasting the clothing personae and meanings thereof of Andie vs Susan (and Roberta) from Desperately Seeking Susan.
posted by immlass at 7:08 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


How could she not be won over by Duckie's Try a Little Tenderness! That seemed like a huge flaw in the story to me. That scene showed Duckie as creative, interesting, brave, etc. All the things you'd think Andie would go for. But there was always something imperious about Molly Ringwald. Whether a poor person or a neglected middle child or a princess, she always seemed to think she was better than everyone else. She never would have settled for Duckie.

Some Kind of Wonderful made up for the "wrong" (to me) ending of Pretty in Pink. The genders were reversed but it was essentially the same story, and the two poor indie kids ended up together while the rich love interest resolved to be a better person. The Hollywood ending isn't always appropriate, but it just seems right with John Waters films.
posted by headnsouth at 7:31 PM on May 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


This is a lovely essay that makes me want to write about movies I loved.

I think fan culture is incredible, creative and surprising and useful, but when I’ve tried to negotiate it I feel like I’m visiting a foreign city, never totally sure what people are talking about even though I know a few key phrases.

Awww, bless. One thing I like about fandom is that even in the most obscure locals, you can usually find a few people who speak your language.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I did enjoy the article, but the author is overlooking something pretty major.

"One of the movie’s important lessons is that looking like yourself is an integral part of being yourself, so even if you get taunted for it, you absolutely must leave the house every day dressed like the character that is you, and keep your head held high."

See, that's great, and perhaps that all holds true for the teenage characters... But what about poor Annie Potts, who ditches her awesome/kooky duds and gets a boring yuppie makeover so she can land a man? As much as I love some of John Hughes' teen movies, there is an ugly trope in his stuff about interesting, artsy girls/women getting a "normal" makeover for the sake of attracting a man. Despite all the insight and compassion that Hughes had for kids in general and girls in particular, he had some seriously fucked-up attitudes too.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


From nicebookrack's link:
"Great," Duckie replied, trying not to squirm. He felt hot, though he wasn't sure if it was from the setting sun, the lack of air in their stopped car, or the way Cameron was looking at him.

Then suddenly Cameron sat forward and kissed Duckie. It was a good kiss, wet, no tongue, but Duckie didn't have a chance to really get into it before Cameron pulled away.

He turned forward in his seat again and clenched the steering wheel. "I meant to do that. I meant to do that. I meant to do that. I meant to do that."

Duckie grabbed Cameron's chin to turn his face toward him, which shut him up. He looked at Cameron for a moment, letting himself just stare into those blue eyes, and then he leaned forward and gave him a good, solid kiss. Cameron, thankfully, relaxed into it, and there were even tongues ...


That's Duckie, of course, and Cameron... from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Tee hee.
posted by houseofdanie at 9:04 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


One of the most horrible 'make-over-for-a-'man' movies was 'Georgie Girl'
I absolutely hate that trope!
It's also wrong. The right guy will like you as you are. If you are a guy, the right girl will embrace you as you are.
The only people who WON'T do that are potential employers.
I really liked the essay. I loved the pictures from 'Pretty in Pink' I never saw it. Now I have to. I guess I'll que it up on the Kindle my little sister got me for my birthday...
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:05 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


"That scene showed Duckie as creative, interesting, brave, etc. All the things you'd think Andie would go for."

Duckie has of course been the source of much debate online. 1/3rd of the internet thinks Duckie was Andie's perfect man, 1/3rd thinks he was the dreaded Nice Guy, and the final 1/3rd thinks he was actually gay.

Actually, I kind of think he was somehow all three of those things, at the same time. Duckie is complex.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:28 PM on May 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


As much as I loved this movie and appreciate the sentiment of the essay, from what I've learned, there is no room for a guy such as myself who is now closer to 30 than 20 to be embracing my inner Andie. Even just my old habit of wearing fedoras can't be renewed by this article because of the hatred I know exists towards my previous [lack of?] style... as well as the idea that being single and seeking a start to my career I need to seem relatively normal to resolve either of those issues...
posted by ~Bert at 9:59 PM on May 25, 2013


I say F that anti-fedora noise. They were good enough for Bogart...
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:02 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


As someone who not only grew up in this era, but in this area (North of Chicago suburbs), who knows what Shermer means, whose friend is in Weird Science, who had to clean the beach Cameron freaks out on at the end of Ferris Bueller once on my hands and knees at 2 a.m. because a local cop found me with a girl and a jazz cigarette, let me say -

its all true
posted by C.A.S. at 1:36 AM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


That scene showed Duckie as creative, interesting, brave, etc. All the things you'd think Andie would go for.

As opposed to hot, rich and popular, who take all those things you mentioned behind the bike shed and beat their sorry asses.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:26 AM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a lovely essay that makes me want to write about movies I loved.

I know what you mean. I love essays like this.
posted by Unified Theory at 6:29 AM on May 26, 2013


Iona was my fav character from the movie; her fashion sense is among this goth's strongest influences and gave me the concept that all clothing is just costume.
posted by _paegan_ at 12:54 PM on May 26, 2013


I have always had a soft spot for Pretty In Pink because my sixteenth birthday party consisted of my friends pulling a sting operation where I was kidnapped from home, blindfolded, and brought out first to lunch at McDonalds' and then to a screening of Pretty In Pink where we were the only people in the house and at some point we had a volleyball game with some of the balloons people gave me.

As for thrift shops - I like this current perspective.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:22 PM on May 26, 2013


Ursula Hitler: See, that's great, and perhaps that all holds true for the teenage characters... But what about poor Annie Potts, who ditches her awesome/kooky duds and gets a boring yuppie makeover so she can land a man? As much as I love some of John Hughes' teen movies, there is an ugly trope in his stuff about interesting, artsy girls/women getting a "normal" makeover for the sake of attracting a man. Despite all the insight and compassion that Hughes had for kids in general and girls in particular, he had some seriously fucked-up attitudes too.
I disagree. This is a movie trope, and while Hughes doesn't get any points for blowing air into that sad old gimmick, to accuse him of "seriously fucked-up attitudes" is quite the hyperbole.

Where is this dreadful attitude of his in Breakfast Club? Where in Ferris Buehler's Day Off? These were probably his two biggest hits.

In the first, Ms. Ringwald wins the boy by... being herself and connecting across social and economic barriers with an unlikely beau. No one - not even the lovers in the movie scene itself - expects that love to last, but it's a lighthearted jaunt for both of them.

In FBDO, there are really only two women: his muselike cardboard cutout girlfriend (who neither changes nor does anything, really), and his comedic counterpart sister - who is given the rare chance to be a funny girl. She's not pathetic nor ugly - she's just the only one on the block who can see the Mr. Heffalumpagus that is Buehler's bullshit.

And her reward is that she gets to beat the living daylights out of the principal and have him arrested, leaving her the envy of high school audiences everywhere.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:27 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where is this dreadful attitude of his in Breakfast Club?
Did you mean to say Sixteen Candles? Because Ally Sheedy gets a makeover in The Breakfast Club...
posted by pxe2000 at 3:54 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I just rewatched the Breakfast Club, and the only part that got me a little rankled was how Ally Sheedy got the boring yuppie makeover and got the man.
posted by Bugbread at 6:49 AM on May 27, 2013


I disagree. This is a movie trope, and while Hughes doesn't get any points for blowing air into that sad old gimmick, to accuse him of "seriously fucked-up attitudes" is quite the hyperbole.

Well said.
posted by Unified Theory at 11:47 AM on May 27, 2013


"This is a movie trope, and while Hughes doesn't get any points for blowing air into that sad old gimmick, to accuse him of "seriously fucked-up attitudes" is quite the hyperbole."

Other than Hughes' movies, where are all of these other movies where an interesting, artsy, unconventional woman gets a bland mom makeover so she can be an appropriate mate for some boring mainstream dude? (I'm not talking about the Eliza Doolittle scenario, where we watch a poor, scrappy girl become elegant and refined. I'm talking about movies where an appealing but unconventional woman willingly becomes conventional just for a guy, and that's presented as a good thing.) Perhaps it was a trope before Hughes, but if so I honestly missed it.

I think it's a fucked-up message for any movie, but it's especially heinous for a movie aimed at teens. I don't think the trope totally ruins The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink, but it's an extremely problematic element in both films. I'm a big fan of The Breakfast Club (Pretty in Pink less so,) but while both films have a lot to admire, there are also some pretty crappy messages there.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:07 PM on May 27, 2013


pxe2000:
Where is this dreadful attitude of his in Breakfast Club?
Did you mean to say Sixteen Candles? Because Ally Sheedy gets a makeover in The Breakfast Club...
Shit. Forgot that. Haven't watched it since my early 20s; apparently I deleted the trope from my memory as a sort of "anti-director's cut"...
posted by IAmBroom at 12:59 AM on May 28, 2013


I'm talking about movies where an appealing but unconventional woman willingly becomes conventional just for a guy, and that's presented as a good thing.) Perhaps it was a trope before Hughes, but if so I honestly missed it.

Usually it's no more than the girl taking her glasses off and suddenly becoming attractive. (See also "beautiful all along.")
posted by headnsouth at 7:40 AM on May 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


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