Aug 23, 2009

Wiwille's movie reviews part 72

The Brat Pack was a party I was late to. Most of my generation are shocked at how little I know about the teen comedies from the 80s and I guess rightly so. I never saw 'The Breakfast Club' or 'Sixteen Candles' till I was an adult (the latter film was viewed for the first time fairly recently). The only comedy from that genre that I was a huge fan of, and still am for that matter, was 'Better Off Dead'.

I feel sometimes that these movies may have resonated better had I originally viewed them in my teen years, but some still have their effect. 'Pretty in Pink'; however, did little for me.

It's a cute story about class struggles in high school. Andie plays a lower income daughter of a single father and is cruelly reminded of the fact constantly by who she calls Richie's. Being the butt end of jokes hasn't hardened her though as she's a sweet girl who puts up with the antics of her friend Duckie who vies for her affection in ways that are sometimes vulgar, but always annoying.

Andie is smitten by a Richie named Blane. Why do these movies always have the wealthier gents with such names? No one can be called Steve or Jim. They're always Bart, Rodger, Clint, etc. Anyways Blane is very interested in Andie and takes her on a disastrous date where it's apparent to both that the worlds they live in won't accept each other.

I may take a lot of heat from people in my generation, but this unoriginal piece penned by John Hughes failed to move me on almost every level. While it's obvious this is hardly original even for it's day the script had some of the most unrealistic dialogue heard in teen comedy history, and that's saying a lot.

Still the film has it's merits. Duckie is often times funny, but not as much as one would assume from a sidekick. The dance is a crowd pleaser. Given the writing flaws the performances are quite good and Molly Ringwald is reliable as usual. Harry Dean Stanton is Harry Dean Stanton. I don't think I need to say more. The cast really rises above the material and for that I'm highly impressed.

It's no 'Sixteen Candles', or most of John Hughes work for that matter, but given it's merits I would recommend it slightly. As mentioned before this is not strong material we're dealing with and there is far more entertaining teen comedies from that era. However, given it's flaws it's so good natured that I can understand its appeal.

Thanks to Kelli for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.

"It is perhaps too much to ask that a John Hughes film bear the standard for class warfare in the 1980s, especially when the film was so tone-deaf in depicting its subculture's milieu." - Chris Barsanti


JLee said...

Although a Hughes fan (I was 16 or 17 when "16 Candles" came out)I never cared for "Pretty in Pink". The best thing about it is the P Furs song.

Claire said...

I'm another Hughes fan...but I just don't get Pretty In Pink...


Kelli said...

Thanks for reviewing it. I still loves this movie... probably because I can relate to the social aspects. I was the lower class girl that went to a college prep school full of upper middle class folks.