Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What I'm Reading - Maybe Duckie Should Have Got the Girl

I have a confession to make here: I never "got" The Breakfast Club. I also hated the ending of Pretty in Pink; when I saw the movie for the first time I got the impression that ending had been tacked on at the last minute, and I didn't like that Andie, having gone through all that crap with the rich kid, caved and ran to him just because swooped in at the last minute. Don't get me started on the mystery blonde beckoning Duckie onto the dance floor. Did she enroll the day before prom? It was some small comfort to learn later on that the filmmakers felt pressured to change the ending after a bad screen test - that Duckie was supposed to get the girl, or at least Andie a stronger sense of self - but like John Hughes's other generation defining films this one just didn't speak to me.

Why? I'm baffled. I was the target age for these films. I was an insecure, middle class teenager wondering why in the hell boys never asked me out. Perhaps the fact that there were no "richies" on the Westside made it difficult for me to relate to some of these movies and the focus on so-called caste systems. Also, I was a well behaved student and never had to sit through all-day Saturday detention - and I can tell you that at my school a damn sight more than five people reported weekly.

Anyway, my friend Joe pointed me toward this book You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried as a possible review for the rock book blog. It qualifies, too, if you think about it. Hughes' teen-angst films showcased the New Wave trends of the day, so much to the point a label had been set up solely to release soundtracks for these movies. Contrary to my initial thinking, too, "I Melt With You" doesn't appear in every single film, though given that song's prevalence in the 80s I'm quite surprised.

So look for a longer review on the rock book blog. I may even go back and watch some of these movies again to see if I do get it.


1 comment:

krispykremekiller said...

If you want to hear Modern English's "I Melt With You" ad nauseum, check out the 80s movie Valley Girl. That, while not a John Hughes movie, has a similar feel, but the characters aren't as well-developed.

The archetypes that Hughes does create in his films were typical for my day, 7 years earlier than yours, and I think he nailed it. I guess being in the greater NYC suburbs, the caste system was much like the greater Chicago suburbs that Shermer, IL, seemed to have.