Monday, April 14, 2014

A few thoughts on Pretty In Pink - when archetypes go to the prom

Watching Pretty In Pink for the first time recently I was struck by what an odd, good film it is.

Exquisitely styled and designed - think Andie's bedroom, the record store, Iona's apartment - it's also deeply stylised. Everyone presents as a representative of a particular class or subculture - so far, so Breakfast Club. 

But the starkness of the class divide the protagonist Andie seeks to overcome in love, the blankness of Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy as the couple, and the film's commitment to style over realism, moves the romance into the background for me. 

It's the social conflict in Pretty In Pink which is front and centre.

Perhaps it's because the film eludes male identification characters that this is so, rather than suggesting John Hughes was somehow channeling Brecht when he wrote this.

But it's interesting that the initial ending, subsequently scrapped, unites Andie with her best male friend Duckie, from the same class and milieu, who's been nursing a massive crush on her throughout the film.

That would be more in tune with a social conflict reading of the film, although waaay more dramatically unsatisfactory than the happily ever after you get in the ending which was used.

The real world, as this ad says? Yeah, but not for the reasons it thinks.

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