It’s time to look at another one of those old school romance films. They haven’t been all that good so far and unfortunately this one doesn’t change the trend. The writing’s still bad and without any likable characters to back the film up it was doomed from the start. This is the kind of movie that will start to really drag on before you’re even halfway through the film. The movie needed some kind of angle to be entertaining and just couldn’t find it.
The movie starts with Duckie annoying Andie as usual. He’s always tagging around and making jokes, but Andie just wants to have a normal school life. One day she makes a fake love letter as part of a game but manages to drop it and a kid named Blane picks it up. Here’s the dilemma, Blane is one of the “cool” kids while Andie is part of the group that is always considered outcasts. As a result she is now ashamed, but then Blane shows up and decides they should be together. Can Andie risk believing him or is she going to get hurt once again?
Interestingly enough, I saw on Wikipedia that the film has an alternate ending which makes more sense than the one we got. Neither one is good to be honest, but at least it made narrative sense. There’s really no reason to root for Blane here because he’s a complete pushover. The guy isn’t very smart and doesn’t realize that bringing Andie to a house filled with rich kids wouldn’t be a good idea. Then by the end the mind games actually work on him and he basically deserts Andie in her time of need. Why would Andie give him the time of day after that?
The romance is handled very poorly here. On the other hand, there’s no reason for Andie to want to be with Ducky either. He’s always joking around and that’s why she has never taken him seriously before. His antics go pretty far at times like when he kept turning on the fire alarm at her job. She could have gotten in trouble for that if you think about it. Duckie also can’t be that serious since to make her jealous he gets together with someone else briefly and then possibly with a third person by the end. None of these characters seem mature enough to get into a serious relationship so that means there’s no way the romance can work.
Beyond that, as I mentioned the characters are not very likable. I’ve already explained for Duckie and Blane so what about Andie? Well, Andie is definitely the kind of character that everyone pushes around here. I think that considering what she knows of the cliques and school setting she should have been a lot more prepared for what ended up happening. She ends up taking everything pretty hard each time though. Then she also tends to snap at her father quite a bit even though he seemed to be doing his best for the film. He may not have been perfect, but I didn’t doubt that he was trying to find a job when she accused him of faking it. I don’t think the film tells you definitively if she was right or wrong, but it did seem to come out of nowhere.
The only reasonable character here is Andie’s friend from work. At least that girl was taking charge the whole time and never let things get to her. Too bad she wasn’t more of a main character since maybe she could have helped the film. Regardless it was probably too late to get a positive score though. Put it this way, 90% of the film is all about the dialogue since this is a slice of life, but the lines are all too cringy for this to work. I can’t think of any good scenes here. It may not go off the deep end the way a horror film would, but at the end of the day the film isn’t particularly entertaining and that is a problem that’s almost as big as just being bad.
It all goes back to the whole romance/drama vs romance/comedy films. If you’re going to do a good romance then typically throwing in some comedy helps. I don’t know if this film was supposed to be a comedy, but it definitely falls a lot more into the drama route. The film takes itself very seriously the whole time, but the situations aren’t realistic so it all ends up falling flat. Andie should have had Blane choose between her and his friends right from the start. Think about it, if you’re friends with someone who is constantly bullying the person you’re trying to spend time with then that doesn’t make any sense. You gotta choose sooner than later and since Blane was so indecisive and made the wrong choice as well, that should have been it. The ending just makes the film even worse because it also makes Andie look bad. Nobody walks out of this film with their rep intact except for the work friend.
Overall, Pretty in Pink is not a film that has aged well. I’d advise you to skip this one before you even start. If you like a classic school romance tale then I’d make the case that most of the sitcom shows would be able to do it better. They don’t take themselves as seriously and have whole seasons to give their characters development which naturally works a lot better. Pretty in Pink has to get these characters together, break em up, and get em together again in one film. There’s almost no way a film could pull that off even if everything was on point.