With Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, James Spader
Directed by Howard Deutch
Reviewed by JB

A young Jerry Lewis scores at the prom     Written and produced by John Hughes, this is the most adult, but in some ways, the least satisfying, of the Hughes - Ringwald trilogy that helped define teen films of the '80s.  Ringwald herself is terrific, arguably giving her best performance on film, and Harry Dean Stanton has one of his best roles ever as her father, still heartbroken over the wife who left him years ago.  No Anthony Michael Hall this time, but Jon Cryer is an inspired substitute, with his manic miming to Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" one of the classic film moments of the decade.

     The film has several satisfying highlights, Ringwald's ANNIE HALL-inspired warddrobe not among them, but the story - a poor girl/geeky friend/rich boy love triangle - is too insubstantial to support the emotional weight Hughes' script tries to pile on top of it, and Andrew McCarthy (as the rich boy) becomes seriously more unlikable as the film goes forward.  Nevertheless, PRETTY IN PINK is the last great Molly Ringwald film, and I fully understand I may well be the only film historian ever to type those six words. - JB

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Copyright © 2010 John V. Brennan, John Larrabee