John Hughes was the greatest architect of high-school-aged angst in the ’80s, and amongst his greatest cathedrals was Pretty In Pink, the quintessential adolescent romance. The Breakfast Club broke through the rigid caste system that defines most teen movies, but Hughes crafted no depiction of love more heartfelt than the tentative courtship between Molly Ringwald’s blue-collar Andie and Andrew McCarthy’s prepster Blaine. Scripting a film ultimately directed by Howard Deutch, Hughes captured the heady highs and devastating lows of teen crushes with good humor, but also respect for the characters displayed onscreen. Hughes found writing teenage characters to be good fun, but they resonated so deeply with his similarly aged audience because he took them seriously and treated them as adults.
Playing both to Gen X-ers looking to relive a little bit of their fading youth, as well as a new wave of teens in search of someone who really gets them, Pretty in Pink will return to theaters for a 30th anniversary screening on Valentine’s Day, with an encore showing the following Wednesday on Feb. 17. (Technically, the movie came out on Feb. 28, 1986, but we’re too busy dancing to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark to care.) Fathom Events, the frequent champions of multiplex revivals for blockbusters of yore, will bring this rare opportunity to theaters nationwide bundled with bonus footage from behind the scenes, as well as a rumored alternate ending.
There are practically a dozen different aspects of Pretty In Pink that could be fairly claimed as a favorite element: the soundtrack well stocked with new-wave classics, the rock-hard hairdos, the so-bad-it’s-trendy fashion, Ringwald’s exquisitely lovesick heroine, young Jon Cryer and James Spader as the playing-to-type best friends on either side of the central romance. And there’s no better time than the present to look back on this beloved film — Members Only jackets are coming back in style, after all.