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Pretty In Pink

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Pretty in Pink - Summary

Pretty in Pink is essentially a love story about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, the rich high school hunk who has his eye on her, and the peer pressure that threatens their budding romance. Molly Ringwald plays the character of Andie Walsh, an unpopular poor girl living in the shabbier side of town. Andrew McCarthy portrays the role of Blane McDonnagh, a wealthy heartthrob who asks her out to the prom. As their romance evolves, both characters struggle with increasing pressure from their peers whom are unsupportive of the relationship mostly because of the difference in social class. This, however, doesn't necessarily hold true for two of the characters whose objections appear to derive from other motives. Blane's friend Steff (James Spader) is more outraged with the fact Andie has repeatedly turned down his amorous attempts, than with her lack of money. While Andie's best friend "Duckie" (Jon Cryer) is so in love with her that a Prince with a Harvard degree who dedicates his life to charitable work would not have made the cut. Although the main characters are both initially cautious if not almost secretive about their relationship, Andie steps up to the plate and the pressure, even ending her friendship with Duckie for the sake of love. However, Blane, who receives the majority of the flak because he is the one with the "most at stake", caves in to the stress of it all and breaks off their prom date. Despite his strong feelings for her, the prom is an announcement to his friends, peers, and the entire school that this is his girl; a "nobody" and he just can't bring himself to do it. When Andie and Duckie enter the prom hand in hand, both Blane and Steff immediately take notice. Steff embarks in one last desperate attempt to mock Andie, but Blane has had enough of him already! Brushing him off, he walks up to Andie and declares his love for her and all is right with the world again.

Adults and Parents

Adults are hardly portrayed in this movie, save for the role of Andie's father Jack Walsh, (Harry Dean Stanton), Andie's friend Iona (Annie Potts), and a nameless teacher or two. Jack Walsh is portrayed in a semi-depressed light. He is a man with a heart of gold who would do anything for his daughter but who has been emotionally handicapped to a certain extent (and even almost physically so; he can't bring himself to get out of bed and look for employment if Andie does not nag him about it) after his wife left the family. Iona is portrayed as a woman who doesn't act her age, which explains her friendship with Andie and Duckie. In her mid to late thirties, she dresses the part of a teenager and is usually in a teenage ambiance every time we see her. The theme of single parenthood and the struggles it entails plays a big part in this movie. I think adolescents receive a positive message from the portrayal of dad as the single parent. The media has done a pretty fine job of bashing absentee fathers (and rightfully so), but it's nice to see a man taking care of his responsibilities even if it is in a movie. I know there are plenty of real-life single dads out there trying to make ends meet. Andie has a great relationship with her father and her friend Iona. She confides a lot in him, sharing her feelings in warm touching scenes. Iona takes on the role of a mom and friend at times, someone Andie can speak to about "girl things" and a shoulder to cry on when needed. In school scenes where teachers or coaches are involved, there is almost a collective air of defiance and lack of respect coming from the student body. I think of how I was raised with such a tremendous amount of respect for my elders, and I gasp at the outright disregard for authority not only in this movie but with a lot of kids in general. I wouldn't have had a tooth left in my mouth had I ever behaved or spoken in such a manner!


The only scene of violence in this movie is when Duckie, frustrated with Steff's behavior

and/or just general persona, comes running up behind him and they fall to a heap in the

middle of the school hallway. It is a pretty classic high school fight with teachers running

out of their classrooms to intervene. I don't think this scene does have a big modeling

effect because unfortunately the kind of violence nowadays has escalated to a whole

different dimension. Long gone are the days where two kids fought it out one-on-one

with only their hands as weapons. Gangs, knives, bats, guns, or some other kind of

weapon play center stage in most of the altercations today. There is a level of underlying

aggression in this movie, almost like a pressure-cooker slowly building until someone

blows. Steff as the "bad guy" is aggressive in nature, verbally harassing anyone he deems

below him or in Andie's case, anyone who has the gall to say no to him. He is really

setting the stage for Duckie's (good guy) moment of aggression, when exasperated and

fed up with the entire situation, he physically attacks Steff. I think Duckie has just about

had it, and although most blows are obviously in defense of Andie, I think he snuck in a

couple for himself (unpopular teen) too! I would say the justification for this moment of

violence comes from the fact that this is probably years in the making. These teens are

seniors in high school, and I'm sure anyone would blow their lid after what was most

certainly fours years of bullying. When Duckie glares Steff down in the hallway, he

seems angry but also apprehensive of acting upon his feelings until a cocky Steff

challenges him by asking if he has a problem. This pushes Duckie over the edge and he

shows Steff that yes, he does have a problem! There were no consequences to this fight,

however; the teachers simply broke it up and everyone went on their way.

Cognitive Issues

Different problems



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