It’s 30 years since teen classic Pretty In Pink was released. To mark the occasion, Top 10 Films‘ resident teen movie expert Neal Damiano caught up with the film at a celebratory 30th anniversary screening at the Connecticut Post IMAX theater.
“I just want to let them know that they didn’t break me” – these words will forever resonate with Generation X. The seminal 1980s classic Pretty In Pink returned to cinemas for a celebratory 30th anniversary screening and I took the chance to ride down nostalgia highway. As I sat in the theater waiting for the lights to go down and the opening credits to appear, a profound sense of sentimentality hit me hard; an emotion that is hard to describe. It was like visiting friends.
The story has universal appeal – social status, economic value, unrequited love; one of the reasons it is such a well-loved teen movie from the 1980s. Specifically, the film’s merits lie at the feet of John Hughes who had the ability to create characters that live long in the memory. Indeed, Pretty In Pink is, in many ways, an intellectual movie about teenage characters dealing with real problems, their vulnerability spread out on the screen like paint on a canvas.
Importantly, Molly Ringwald turns in an unforgettable role as Andie, a poor girl who exudes unflinching confidence along with a unique individuality that shines. And who can forget Duckie, played by Jon Cryer, the quintessential hipster before hipster was even a thing. His affection for Andie is quite endearing. Andrew McCarthy turns in a sincere performance as Blane, a rich boy with a heart of gold, and of course there’s the rich and cocky brat Stef, played by James Spader. Hughes films always have great characters but these four just seem to stick with you like old comforting friends.
Pretty In Pink is everything high school was – the rich kids, the poor kids, the cool kids, the geeks and the unrelenting feeling of wanting to fit in. But what Pretty In Pink did for teen angst is simple: the film showed us that you can find your place in the world and somehow make it through. As for Andie, no they did not break her and I don’t think they ever will.
Top 10 Films would like to extend a special thank you to the Connecticut Post IMAX theater for hosting us at the 30th anniversary screening of Pretty in Pink.