Pretty in Pink (1986) – Blu-Ray Review

The 80s classic, Pretty in Pink, written by the voice of a generation, John Hughes, finally comes to blu-ray this week from Paramount Pictures. Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, and James Spader star in this iconic film that resonated with everyone who saw it.

Andie (Ringwald) is from the wrong side of the tracks, makes a lot of her own clothes, has a best friend, Duckie (Cryer) who is in love with her, and she is mooning over the cute, rich boy, Blane (McCarthy).

The story is simple, predictable, and very much a high school fairy tale, though with Hughes’ wonderful ability to write people. It plays out exactly as a fairy tale should, and even Duckie who has been endlessly friend-zoned by Andie gets a girl as well, and easily sets aside his passion for Andie for a happy ending in spite of that dress.

Like so many of Hughes’ films, there are moments, scenes, lines that have transcended the story, and have become part of the popular zeitgeist. You simply mention them and people not only recall the film, but also the way it reflects their own life. That was Hughes’ ability.

And as fun as everything is in the film, I really love the arc of Andie and her father, played by Stanton, and the way it plays out. He’s a single father, and she’s the caretaker, until they both confront their shared past, and you get the feeling things will change afterwards. Not that Andie will have any problems for awhile because she has a rich boyfriend now.

Like I said, a teenage high school fairy tale.

Watching the film now, and even then, it’s funny to imagine these twenty-somethings still playing teenagers, they didn’t look it at the time, they don’t look it now, but yet, you can’t help getting wrapped up in their characters and their dialogue… of course, the music helps a lot too.

The picture and sound are cleaned up nicely, and are noticeably better than the DVD, and boy, that soundtrack just kicks it right from the off. When you talk iconic, you can’t help but mention this song, performed by The Psychedelic Furs, and how it is inextricably tied now with this film. Hell, you could argue Hughes films and their music defined my generation.

There’s not tons in terms of extras, which feels unfortunate, but there’s a new interview with director Howard Deutch, and an isolated film score, as well as the original extras of the Lost Dance sequence which talks about the film’s original ending, and the reshoots needed to change it for the better, and of course, the theatrical trailer.

Pretty In Pink, an undeniable part of the 80s, and my own youth, is a welcome addition to the blu-ray shelf, and is available today from Paramount Canada.

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