Written by: John Hughes
Directed by: Howard Deutch
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, James Spader, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton
Released by: Paramount
My Advice: If you were in high school in the 80s, own it…at least until a better DVD presentation comes out.
Andie (Ringwald) lives in a small house with her single father, Jack (Stanton) in a sort of role reversal. She is always the one getting him to get out of bed and telling him to get a job. They love each other very much, but Jack is still getting over his wife leaving him. Anyway, it’s Andie’s senior year and she is focused on the prom. Her friend Duckie (Cryer) is completely in love with her, but he just can’t bring himself to tell her. He is also completely blind to the fact that she is crazy about a boy from the other side of the tracks named Blaine (McCarthy). Blaine asks her out on a date and eventually out to the prom, but there are other problems. His friends don’t like her, and her friends don’t like him. Will the socio-economic divide between them be too much for their relationship to handle?
[ad#longpost]This is the mother of all teen movies. In fact, the recent film Not Another Teen Movie relied on it pretty heavily for references. Those of us who went to high school in the 80s look back at the John Hughes films with nostalgia and wonder why they can’t make teen movies like this anymore. The story is not new by any means, but the way the story is told certainly reflects the time in which the movie was shot. Rather than making a bunch of fart and sex jokes without any point, Hughes seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the generation he was writing about and dealt with the issues that they were being presented with. The writing is well done for the most part, with perhaps the only major problem with the movie being the lack of a sense of time passing. Everything seems to pass by in a couple of weeks rather than over most of the school year. However, that has as much to do with editing and directing than screenwriting.
This DVD presentation is as horrible as the film is solid. There are no special features on the DVD at all. Not even little stuff like cast bios or text-on-screen production notes. The only thing this one has going for it is that they presented it in widescreen format. Other than that, you get bubkiss.
It is for this reason that my recommendation stands that, unless you are a huge fan of the film, you really should wait for a better DVD presentation to come out to put this one in the collection. But 80s and Hughes completists should probably go ahead.