Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pretty in Pink: Blane vs. Duckie

I remember the first time I watched Pretty in Pink. Like most girls of a certain age, I loved it. Maybe because it was a glimpse into the quickly approaching high school experience. Or maybe it was because something about the movie always seemed hopeful. Perhaps though, I loved it simply because John Hughes knew his audience. It was too long ago to tell.

However, I watched Pretty in Pink again today for the umpteenth time, but the experience was different today than I remember it being before. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a great movie, but the difference between then and now is me.

Back when I first watched the movie, I was certain than Andie and Blane (“His name is Blane? That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name! ”) belonged together. And *spoiler alert* the movie gave me my ending. He sees her at the dance (in an ugly dress. I know I was supposed to be awe of it, but it’s ugly and boxy and honestly I expected more) and comes over. Ending with the feeling that they will defy all odds and live happily ever after, uniting the “richies” with the other side of the track. It was everything you want high school to be. You want to make it to the end and see that the cliques never really mattered. You want to think that if two people like each other their friends’ opinions won’t sway that. You want to be as cool and confident as Andie.

After I saw the movie, I, of course, bought the book (after all I love reading). I liked the book as much as the movie right up until I got to the ending where she didn’t choose Blane. She chose the goofy, lovable, nerdy, and not at all exciting (because there was no boundary crossing) Duckie. I believe this was the first time I ever threw a book across the room. How dare they ruin my happily ever after? Originally, the movie also had the ending where she stays with Duckie, but the screen test was bad. The audience wanted her with Blane as much as I did.  

Flash forward to adult Liz watching Pretty in Pink.

Andie is an idiot for choosing Blane. If he was so weak that his douchy (yet James Spader is an awesome bad guy) friend can convince him to stop talking to her, then she doesn’t need him. She had things going for her. She was strong and confident. She figured out that the bullshit in high school doesn’t matter WHILE she was still in high school. That is awesome. She had a scholarship, she was smart, and she was going to be fine with or without a guy who obviously had poor taste in friends.
As far as happily ever after goes, in what world would the two of them actually end up happily ever after? How many people in high school actually make it to happily ever after? Hell, how many adults get there?  I am sure his parents have him in some ivy league school and Andie is going to design school. They aren’t staying together. They probably aren’t going to make it to graduation.

Whereas Duckie, on the other hand, loves her. He is willing to make a fool out of himself just to make her smile, he is willing to fight for her even when she has no idea he is doing it, and he was willing to wait for hours outside of a club he couldn’t even get into just so he could ride home with her. He respects her. Duckie is a diamond in the rough. No matter what happened in her life, Duckie would be the one person she could always count on. Under no stretch of the imagination should she have ever ended up with Blane at the end of the movie.

And on that note, “I’m off like a dirty shirt.”

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