Although "Pretty in Pink" stands as one of the more widely known efforts written (although not directed) by John Hughes, I don't quite understand the film's appeal. Although the characters are memorable and the dialogue is witty, the film's story - girl falls for rich guy, while guy who's a friend loves her too, has been done before (and after) with more complexity and sincerity.
"Pink" continues the writer's fascination with class issues. Molly Ringwald stars as Andie, a charming teenager who designs her own outfits and tries to care for a father who, it seems, is often unemployed. She wants to date Blane (Andrew McCarthy), but she's awkward in her conversations with him due to the fact that he's richer than she is. All the while, her pal Duckie (Jon Cryer) is madly in love with her - a fact that she largely ignores.
The film's performances are a mixed effort; while some were entertained by Cryer's performance as the friend who's fallen for Andie, it now seems to me like a rather loud, obnoxious character that's almost impossible to root for. Ringwald, on the other hand, provides a pleasant enough performance as Andie, but doesn't quite provide anything aside from the surface elements of the character. James Spader, who is probably one of the best actors out there at playing a jerk, cranks the evil level up to 11 quite superbly. Andrew McCarthy's performance as Blane is about as bland as most of the actor's other 80's efforts.
"Pretty in Pink" is cute and amusing enough, but it never quite succeeds at drama (the characters aren't well-realized enough for their problems to be that involving), comedy (a few laughs to be found) or romance (little chemistry between Ringwald and anyone else in the film). While certainly not terrible, it's not memorable either and Hughes has shown himself to be capable of better (see "Some Kind of Wonderful", which told a very similar story and was released one year after "Pink").
VIDEO: Paramount presents "Pretty in Pink" with a new 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Thankfully, outstanding cinematographer Tak Fujimoto ("Signs", "That Thing You Do!") chooses to focus on this 80's film with a crisp, clear perspective instead of the noticably soft appearance that most 80's films (see the Hughes/Deutch picture "Some Kind of Wonderful", made one year later). Sharpness and detail are passable, if not remarkable, and the picture takes on a crisp, clean appearance that should largely please its fans.
However, unlike Paramount's recent release of the Hughes-written effort "Some Like It Wonderful", "Pink" seems to have a little bit of wear on it. While certainly nothing too distracting, there were a few minor specks and marks on the print used, while slight amounts of grain (especially in a smoky club sequence) were also occasionally apparent. On a positive note, no edge enhancement was spotted, nor was any pixelation.
Colors were largely well-rendered, as the film's bright, vivid color palette looked nicely saturated and without flaw. Black level was usually solid, while flesh tones looked accurate and natural. A very enjoyable effort.
SOUND: Paramount gives "Pink" a new 5.1 remix and the results are generally very good. Thankfully, while still very 80's, "Pink"'s pop score seems a bit less dated and a lot less irritating than the scores of these teenage 80's efforts go. Surrounds pop in for some reinforcement of the music, while the music and dialogue sound crisp and clear.
MENUS: Basic, non-animated main & sub-menus.
EXTRAS: Surprisingly, there are no extras included. Given the popularity of the film, I'd have expected at least some interviews.
Final Thoughts: "Pretty in Pink" has its moments, but it seems a bit more predictable and forgettable than most of the writer's other works. Paramount's DVD offers fine audio/video quality, but nothing in the way of supplements. A rental for those who haven't seen it, but the film's hardcore fan base will probably want to seek a purchase.
The Film ***