Mr. Hughes had a knack for relating to the teen experience like no other, and didn’t pretend life was all roses either. Don’t get me wrong, most teen movies of the 80’s had some serious bubble gum endings (with the exception of Heather’s of course)… but he wasn’t afraid to tackle issues that kids dealt with on an everyday basis… drugs, sex, family dilemmas, and of course… love. Now, I am not talking Romeo and Juliet over the top theatrics love, but more like your typical romantic comedy love. Anyone who knows anything about romantic comedies knows there’s always the “meet cute.” You know what I am talking about. It’s that humorous moment of awkwardness between the two main characters who are the stories’ potential love interests. Separately, these two couldn’t be anymore different (different class, different personality, and different beliefs)… but when they are thrust into each others lives by hopeless romantic screen writers… well..That’s the movies for you. Sure, the meeting is totally contrived, and almost anyone with any common sense can already predict the film’s outcome, but it doesn’t stop us from watching the rest of it now.. does it?.. Of course not.
So the story goes: Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Something (usually meddling family, friends, or the boy doing something stupid) messes things up. Boy leaves girl. Boy breaks girl’s heart.
The rest of the story is a little ad lib, but for the most part, it usually ends the same way. Real life however isn’t that simple. Real life… is downright complicated and messy. It’s not every day that two seemingly completely opposite people from completely different worlds meet one another. Life’s just not that ironic. And if those people do meet, the odds of them forming any kind of actual relationship are slim to none, especially if either of them is socially preoccupied.
Sometimes human beings have a tendency to react like sheep… and high school was no different. No one thinks anything for themselves, no one does anything for themselves… they simply follow the herd, and do what the herd dictates is expected of them. The one that doesn’t… well, they’re blacklisted as the martyr or the outcast. They give off signals that they don't want to belong, and the appointed important people will make sure that they don't. But what if they are just trying to stand out from the pack.. to be an individual.. to be noticed?.. What’s so wrong about being different, and having your own views?... Nothing - unless you fall in love with a member of the herd.
Suddenly, a once light-spirited girl-- one that didn’t care what the rest of the world thought about her as long as she knew who she was, and was understood by those around her-- is now judged by standards she had long disregarded. As I sat on the couch and watched this plot unfold, I could see the fireworks coming a mile away… maybe because of events I have experienced in my own life at one point or another.
Poor Andy! Falls in love with one of the popular boys, but she isn’t good enough for his friends or family… so they can’t be together. What complete horse-rubbish! Blane’s expression and explanation (or lack there of)… “This has nothing to do with you”… seriously irked my tater. I threw a piece of popcorn at the screen, which my bubble butt of a cat gladly chased to the floor.
Even as an eighties movie, this concept still seems like such garbage to me. I can’t fathom loving someone that didn’t think I was good enough to be seen with them, that wasn’t proud of who I was, and who acted ashamed of me… based on what everyone else told him about “girls like THAT.” What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? If two people are absolutely perfect for each other, then what the hell else matters?.. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Sometimes, you just have to be a mature enough person to think for yourself. Not everyone is going to like the decisions you make in life… but who says they have to?.. In the end, it has to be about what you want. Maybe people ought to spend a little more time trying to do something with themselves and a little less time trying to impress others. You can spend the rest of your life trying to live the life they want you to, or you can find your own path that fulfills you. Life is too short and unpredictable to not be sweet. So don’t just exist.. live!!
Now the prom scene is totally predictable, yet completely unavoidable when writing a teen movie. I mean, what high school experience would be complete without a prom??? So… You’re pretty much obligated to have one. Pretty in Pink was no exception. There’s the “Do-I-Go??” or “Don’t-I-Go??” Scene, where Molly Ringwald’s character decides whether to spend her Saturday night on her couch with popcorn, her cat, and a chick flick (::cough, cough::)… or to go to the prom… and face her destiny. She of course goes with the latter.
The rest I guess you could say is history. Boy sees girl. Boy realizes he has been a “daft prick,” and has that moment of enlightenment where he realizes his true feelings regardless of what the rest of society thinks. Boy has learned to think for himself.
“You said you couldn't be with someone who didn't believe in you. Well I believed in you. I just didn't believe in me. I love you. Always.”
Atta boy Blane!... Thank you John Hughes for giving us hopeless romantics a reason to believe, even when life keeps shoving us into lockers. Maybe there will come a day when real life and love doesn’t seem so high school.
As the end credits rolled, I looked over at the clock. Hmm.. only ten o’clock.
“What do you think Vegas?”… I say to my cat, who stares back at me blankly like she could care less… (I told you she’s a b@#$!)
“My thoughts exactly.”
It’s early… Now if you’ll excuse me.. I still have an overly frilly pink prom dress to make.