Sunday, December 26, 2010
Why Andie Probably Should Have Chosen Duckie Instead...
o...last night I watched Pretty in Pink for the 199th time? I have no idea how many times I've actually watched it. All I know is that if it's on TV, it's still an irresistible pull for me to watch it once again.
Although I don't remember every time I've watched it, I do remember the first time. I was young, just out of high school, and very much identified with Andie - probably to a degree which was somewhat unhealthy in retrospect - the film made me cry in the end, so wrapped up was I in the character of Andie. I remember what I was wearing. Cropped white pants with tiny pink, green, purple and yellow pastel pinstripes, a yellow long sleeve shirt - button front with a collar, which was buttoned all the way to the neck, fastened with a large pastel brooch made of glistening jewels looking very vintage, one small pearl earring in my left ear, one long dangling white earring in my right ear, 2 additional earrings in my left ear one diamond stud and one pink diamond stud with pink patent leather kitten heels on my feet. Oh yes. The 80s. Don't forget the large white belt askew at my hips, fastened wrong on purpose to complete the ensemble. I saw it in Salt Lake City on a date. We were at the movie theater in the bottom of Crossroads Mall and I remember very clearly walking back to my hotel room at the Hotel Utah a few blocks away.
At the time, and for most of the years since then, I felt the movie had a perfect ending. Andie gets Blaine, Blaine gets Andie and although you feel sorry for Duckie for a minute - even he kind of gets a cute girl in the end too. All loose ends wrapped up in pretty pink bows.
But last night as I was watching it on TV again I saw something I never quite recognized before. Andie made the totally wrong choice in choosing Blaine. Because I realized the happy ending isn't really an ending at all - it's only the beginning.
Duckie stuck with Andie through thick and thin. Not only was he in love with her - he was her friend. He was happy for her and he wanted the best for her. Blaine didn't care so much about Andie as he cared about himself. And although he promises in the end that he always believed in her, he only didn't believe in himself, the sad fact I had to face as an adult watching it last night, is that nothing has really changed. Blaine still doesn't believe in himself. And I'm not all that convinced he believes in Andie either. He admires her. He wishes he could be more like her. He thinks she is pretty and cool and this makes him drawn to her. But at the end of the day the relationship is doomed.
The relationship in my favorite romantic film is doomed.
Duckie is clearly the better choice!
Why do you suppose as women we do this? We romanticize the wrong things? We do it all the time. Women choose Blaine over Duckie in their real lives with a terrible frequency.
The good news of this story is that Andie will survive it just fine. She's strong and she's sure of herself - I'm not really that worried about her. She's young and she'll learn from her mistake and probably become successful in a way where she won't measure her worth by her relationship to a guy anyway.When I was young I really admired the character of Andie. I still do. Even after all these years, I think there is something so great about her self-assurance and easy cool that's worth trying to emulate. I may not wear cropped pants with kitten heels any more, and I may not have understood anything more about relationships than Andie did, but I think a woman with an inner belief in herself will turn out just fine no matter what comes her way.
So what do you think? Who do you think Andie should have chosen?
You know John Hughes wrote the story so that Andie ends up with Duckie. But test audiences really wanted her to end up with Blaine. So they re-shot the ending and tacked on the bit where the girl asks Duckie to dance after Andie goes off with Blaine. John Hughes wasn't particularly happy about the ending and he re-made another version of this story the next year, with "Some Kind of Wonderful". Watts being the Duckie of that film, and Samantha Jones being Blaine to the male protagonist played by Eric Stolz as Keith. I love that film too, and in the end Keith and Watts end up together.
Maybe happy endings where the two people who are more suited for each other is really the more hopelessly romantic idea. Because how often does that actually happen in real life?