Molly Ringwald
Marie Claire Australia|May 2021
As a teen star, she ruled Hollywood in a trio of smart, sassy romantic comedies including Pretty in Pink, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary. Hannah-Rose Yee looks back on the actor’s lasting impact
Hannah-Rose Yee

There was never any doubt that at the end of Pretty in Pink, our Cinderella would go to the ball. Sure, it might have been in a flamingo-pink dress best left in the decade the film was released – the ’80s – but there was one question: who would be her Prince Charming?

The film, written by teen-genre legend John Hughes (of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame), originally saw Molly Ringwald’s Andie end up blissfully happy with Duckie, her wisecracking, long-suffering best friend, played by Jon Cryer. In the original ending, director Howard Deutch recalled, Ringwald and Cryer dance the night away in a “swirl of pink”.

There was only one problem, and his name was Blane. Impossibly gorgeous, Blane (played by Andrew McCarthy, who Ringwald suggested for the role because she thought he was cute) is the rich kid who courts Andie, then rejects her in the end because of peer pressure from his snobby friends.

At early test screenings of Pretty in Pink, a chorus of boos rippled through the cinema when Andie ended up with Duckie. Deutch and Hughes realised they were in serious trouble: their Cinderella wasn’t ending up with Prince Charming, but the court jester. So Hughes wrote a new finale, one in which Andie arrives at the ball with best-friend Duckie but leaves with true-love Blane.

Hadley Freeman, author of Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies, doesn’t think the new ending is better. “She should have got together with Duckie!” she exclaims. But the fact of the matter is that Blane “is so absurdly cute there was no choice”, Freeman notes. And so Andie and Blane lived happily ever after, giving teen girls everywhere something to cling to: a female character who was independent, smart, stylish (prom dress notwithstanding) and who got her Prince Charming. A true Hollywood fairytale, ’80s style.

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