Thursday, February 4, 2016

Pretty in Pink

Year 8, Day 35 - 2/4/16 - Movie #2,236

BEFORE: Molly Ringwald carries over again, and she'll be here one more time in a couple days - it turned out that putting the 4 films with Molly together didn't help my linking, in fact it was making things more difficult.  So I'm splitting them - appropriately for Valentine's month, I'm putting films together, but also breaking them up.   Of course, this is also a high-school film, so by placing it here in February, I could be leaving myself with nothing to show in September, but those are the breaks.  Linking is telling me it belongs here, so here it is. 

First, a rundown of the Oscar-themed TCM programming for tomorrow, Feb. 5:

Rosalind Russell carries over from "A Majority of One" to:
"Auntie Mame", with Fred Clark carrying over to:
"White Heat" with Harry Strang carrying over to:
"Sergeant York" with David Bruce carrying over to:
"The Sea Wolf" with Gene Lockhart carrying over to:
"Leave Her to Heaven" with Gene Tierney carrying over to:
"Heaven Can Wait" (1943) with Eugene Pallette carrying over to:
"The Love Parade" with Maurice Chevalier carrying over to:
"The Smiling Lieutenant" with Claudette Colbert carrying over to:
"It Happened One Night" with Clark Gable carrying over to:
"A Free Soul" with Leslie Howard carrying over to: 
"Berkeley Square" with Alan Mowbray carrying over to:
"Merrily We Live"

I'm embarrassed to say that I've only seen two of those before, "White Heat" and "It Happened One Night" - but I'm finally going to DVR something, namely "Sergeant York".  I've heard of that film, I believe it's important, and I can probably pair it with another Gary Cooper film on the schedule, like "Meet John Doe".  So that means my score is 17 seen and 41 unseen, with 1 added to the watchlist. 

THE PLOT:  A poor girl must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy.

AFTER: I missed this one back when I watched "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club", it's really the third part of the Ringwald Trilogy, even though it was only written by, not directed by, John Hughes.  Everything I know about it, though, comes from watching VH-1's "I Love the 80's" series.  

It's also the third film in a row for me where Molly plays the child of a single parent.  That's a pretty odd coincidence - but it supports my gut feeling regarding watching them together and not dropping "Betsy's Wedding" into the mix.  (Though between "The Pick-Up Artist" and "For Keeps?" it could have symbolically represented "Molly in love, Molly in marriage, and then comes Molly with a baby carriage.")

It's another classic love triangle tonight, but here they do so much more with that premise than "Two Girls and a Guy" seemed capable of.  Molly plays Andie, who's best friends with Duckie, but falls in love with Blane.  Meanwhile Duckie is secretly in love with Andie, and can't seem to tell her - and Blane?  Well, Blane's like a blank, Blane is blah, but he's rich and he's handsome.  The love triangle works, and seems more true to life, because everyone's trying to date up just a bit, they're each reaching just a bit out of their league, which makes some sense.  Nobody wants to settle for what they can get when they could improve their social standing with just a little more effort.  

Meanwhile, Duckie is stuck in the "Friend Zone", and can't get himself out of it - and this also rings true.  I've been in the Friend Zone, and it's very difficult to pull yourself out, because once a girl thinks of you in that way, she's not inclined to think of you in THAT way.  Especially during the late teen years, or early twenties, women of that age have a tendency to compartmentalize, going to one type of man for friendship and another type for romance.  Some kind of genetic coding, I'll wager.  Duckie (and the film) are correct, it's better in that case to cut your losses, maintain the friendship, and try again with the next girl, maybe she'll be the one to laugh at your goofball jokes.

But hang on if you're Team Duckie, because down the line some women do figure out that they can get romance and companionship from the same person, that it's possible to be both friends and lovers with the same guy.  Often this comes about when a girl has her heart broken by someone - well, someone like Blane.  I don't give a crap whether a teen girl has a positive prom experience or not, but I do want her to eventually put the pieces together and question the personality of a "richie".  Like, not whether it's good or bad, but does he even have one?  

So there are two schools of thought about what happens to these characters in the future - one says that Andie and Blane find a way to make it work, after he somehow gets a soul transplant and she never, ever has to interact with any of his snobby friends.  But another possibility is that Blane breaks her heart, and after a few months she decides to see Duckie in a whole new light.  Take your pick.  Or if you prefer a game of "F**k, Marry, Kill", there's no question - f**k Blane, marry Duckie, and kill Steff.  I'll accept no other answers on this. 

NITPICK POINT: Isn't it a fashion no-no for a redheaded girl to wear pink in the first place?  Like you almost never see a blonde woman in a yellow dress, because that would be too much yellow.  But what do I know, I'm not a fashion expert.

NITPICK POINT: The song "Pretty in Pink" is prominently featured, but the song mentions a girl named Caroline.  Why not change the name of Molly Ringwald's character to match the song?  It's a small change that would have cost nothing to implement, and would have created a nice synergy.

Also starring Jon Cryer (last seen in "Due Date"), Harry Dean Stanton (last seen in "Seven Psychopaths"), Andrew McCarthy (last seen in Mulholland Falls"), James Spader (last heard in "Avengers: Age of Ultron"), Annie Potts, Kate Vernon, with cameos from Gina Gershon, Margaret Colin (last seen in "The Devil's Own"), Andrew Dice Clay (last seen in "Blue Jasmine"), Dweezil Zappa, Kristy Swanson.

RATING: 5 out of 10 answering machine messages

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