Sunday, December 6, 2009
The cute stalker or the dreamy coward? Take your pick.
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?