I Saw a Film!
Back when I saw this film, I remember being disappointed that it used a much softened version of the beloved Psychedelic Furs number. In the day I was still holding out for Annie Potts to reveal herself to be a Siouxie Sioux/Pauline Murray style punk rocker, but unfortunately, of course, everything about this twee teen romance film drips with gloppy cheese. As a launching pad for Jon Cryer though, it is hard to beat, and he steals the show. It’s easy to forget Andrew McCarthy and James Spader both co-star as weird rivals, but only one looking for Molly Ringwald’s love. Both these fellows are outrageously awkward and Spader’s arrogance just feels weirdly meaningless when we’re given so little background in the town’s “other side of the tracks”.
Playing Molly’s father, down on his luck and broken-hearted but not yet entirely defeated and praising his daughter’s talents, is Harry Dean Stanton in a very sweetheart role, and probably the role with the most heart. His interaction with Jon Cryer’s “Duckie” character is very amusing and later when Cryer switches his affections publicly to Annie Potts (who still looks remarkably like she’s on the hood of Luke Skywalker’s sportscar) it really makes the film into the cute love-story it was meant to be. Honestly we don’t care about McCarthy’s Blaine and Spader’s narrow-eyed snark just feels forced and like window dressing.
I had forgotten there was an early role for the shock comic Andrew Dice Clay interacting with Duckie, and he gets a scene lighting a cigarette in that twitchy “greaser” manner.
What more can we talk about? The bitches are bitchy, and Ringwald’s wardrobe very grandma-ish. Despite her efforts to ease tensions and be nice to the rich girls, they insist, like dyed in the wool tribe members, on keeping this cute teenaged girl who has a bit less privilege well outside of their boring clique.
This one costs a few dollars on Prime and now that I’m all grown up — along with all these actors– I don’t feel like this film represents any particular experience in any young woman’s life. Though, trying to decide to chase an exciting rich guy over your childhood friend in his suspenders (suspenders even I briefly adopted as a young 20 year old not sure why they briefly made a come back). It’s hard to really be concerned about such young loves, and instead we hope that Stanton’s dad character manages to get a decent job!