Sunday, December 6, 2009

The cute stalker or the dreamy coward? Take your pick.

Wow, Duckie is lurking in the shadows, just like a creepy stalker he actually is.

This entire post is a spoiler. So beware.

Love hurts. But you already knew that.

Yet that is precisely what Pretty in Pink is about. Duckie (Jon Cryer), Andie's (Molly Ringwald) sweet-faced, puppy-eyed best friend, is also deeply, deeply, deeply in love with her. He is so in love with her that he would ride his bike by her house everyday and pretty much stalk her at the record store where she works. But in the end, he loves her enough to let her go, so she can end up with the dreamy, popular Blane (Andrew McCarthy).

In the original ending, Duckie and Andie were together in the end. The test audience didn't like it and Ringwald didn't like it either. Ringwald confessed that she would have liked to see Duckie and Andie end up together if Robert Downey Jr. had played Duckie because she thought Downey was "cuter." Quite understandable.

The official ending has been the topic of much debate over the past twenty-three years (or at least IMDb makes it seem that way). I believe that most women, twenty-three years later, realized that, if they had the chance to go back in time, they would choose the "Duckie" of their high school lives, over the "Blane." Nothing screams love more than undying dedication, no matter how unnatural and creepy it is.

Unlike Andie, most women saw how Duckie has matured. He is finally able to let Andie go. They sympathized with him and loved him for his heroic act. Andie doesn't see those qualities in the same light.

But I'm still a teenage girl. To me, Andie's choice is completely justified. Compared to Duckie, Blane seems the more mature throughout. Blane is most likely not deliberately failing his classes or obsessing over her in a disturbingly prepubescent way. While Blane is a douche-slash-wimp, he genuinely cares for Andie. And Andie is completely infatuated with him. The heart wants what it wants. And let's face it: On a superficial level, McCarthy was a more handsome young man than Cryer was. McCarthy was certainly the dashing knight in a shining armor in every sense.

And for the short time I have been alive, I have only learned one important lesson about love the hard way: A person isn't the perfect match for you unless he/she loves you. (Everything else, I learned from the movies.)

Despite how accurate Pretty in Pink is, the film itself is still pretty mediocre. Those eighties John Hughes teen movies aren't clicking with me. The film is rather tedious. Ringwald is rather unlikable and difficult to connect with. I want to shoot Duckie in the face the entire time for being stalkerish and annoying. But hey, McCarthy is really, really dreamy every time he shows up on screen.

The central question remains: Who would you have chosen--Duckie or Blane--and why?


  1. I like the fact that you're covering all these 80s flicks, Marcy. I spent my childhood in that particular decade.

    So I not only know plenty of that dialogue by heart but I own some of them as well.

    First of all, anyone (& I mean ANYONE) over Jon Cryer as Duckie. Having someone fawn over you if he's not the right guy does nothing for me. He was a decent person. But that's simply not enough. Really, really annoying and immature.

    The only time he had me going was that awesome mad dance to TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS. There's nothing like passionate motivation.

    In this case, though - skip it.

    I must confess that Andrew McCarthy's Blaine was NOT much of an improvement. Nice clothes. Dignified. Refined.

    But totally and completely balless. No guts, no glory, baby.

    With a gun to my head: Blaine. I guess. But neither of those boys do a god damn thing for me anyway.

    Shall we be creative? Yeah, let's...

    How about James Spader in a parallel universe? Now there's a swoon worthy young gentleman. But of course he'd have to be more like an actual human being than Stef was. Mean spirited shallow dickheads born into silver spoon territory have never been my style.

    But if he had some decency and a cool personality...

    Um, rawr.

    And Robert Downey Junior as Duckie? Yes, definitely. More, please. That really hits the spot.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, girl. It was deliciously poignant.

  2. You always know how to escalate a discussion, Miranda.

    In reality, I wouldn't pick Duckie or Blane either. But if I had to, I would pick Blane, for all the reason I've stated. Duckie is a decent human being and finally matures after Andie has made her decision. Her heart belongs to Blane, despite how much Blane has hurt her.

    I'm sure the more mature Duckie we see in the end will make a lucky girl happy.

    James Spader looks his best in Pretty in Pink, but Steff is an absolutely intolerable young man. He reminds me of Chuck Bass, played by the talented (and criminally underrated) Ed Westwick, in the first season of Gossip Girl (and vice versa), except that Chuck is on a TV show, which means that he's destined to eventually show a little bit of humanity.

    Robert Downey, Jr. as Duckie would have been fantastic. I would have even preferred Anthony Michael hall. Nothing against Jon Cryer, but his performance is easily replaceable.

    Jodie Foster turned down Molly Ringwald's role. I would have liked to seen that. I just don't care for Ringwald. the same way I've never cared for the eighties. But despite the insipidness of St. Elmo's Fire, that film has ignited my curiosity for iconic eighties films.

    As for Pretty in Pink, I don't feel an emotional connection. It's entertaining for what it is, but simultaneously forgettable.