Pity today’s teenagers, says actress Annie Potts.
“They don’t have anybody writing for them like John Hughes could. I can’t think of a movie for this generation that addresses teen angst the way ‘Pretty in Pink’ does. I feel bad for them,” she says.
Now’s there a chance to discover the brilliance of Hughes and also enjoy the perfect date movie for Valentine’s Day. Fathom Events is bringing the 1986 cult classic — starring Molly Ringwald as Andie, an impoverished prom-fretting girl caught in the crosshairs of paramours Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy and James Spader — to theaters in Farmingdale and Holtsville as part of a nationwide 30th-anniversary screening Feb. 14 and 17.
“Pretty in Pink” is among Hughes’ 1980s Brat Pack oeuvre, along with “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Howard Deutch directed the flick, which was written and produced by Hughes and features a soundtrack that Rolling Stone ranks as 11th best of all time. In addition to the top 10 hit “If You Leave” by OMD, the movie featured music by INXS, The Smiths, Suzanne Vega and others.
Potts, who portrays record-store owner Iona, adores the rerelease idea. “Everybody has a 70-inch TV now, but it’s not the same as seeing it in a movie house,” she says.
The oddball Iona, who serves as mentor and romantic adviser to Andie, fit Potts as neatly as one of Iona’s Fellini-esque fashions. “I’m an innately quirky being, so I don’t have to work really hard at quirky,” Potts, 63, said from her Los Angeles home. “It’s second nature to me. First nature, actually.”
Insiders vs. outsiders (in “Pink” parlance, Zoids vs. Richies) isn’t a rare cinematic theme, but few mastered it like Hughes, who died in 2009. The voices of “Pretty in Pink’s” bullies felt woefully familiar to Margaret Colin, the Long Islander who plays a teacher who catches snobs mocking Andie’s dime-store wardrobe. “Yes, I was bullied at Baldwin High School,” says Colin, now a Manhattanite. “It was really painful at the time, but I got away from it. Baldwin’s theater department gave me an enormous opportunity to get onstage. I was grateful.”
Colin, 57, says the movie has aged nicely. “It’s a well-made film with real integrity, and the guys are still dreamy and attractive.”
So which guy wins Andie’s heart? Even the filmmakers were unsure whom to choose. After shooting wrapped, angry test-audiences demanded a rewrite. McCarthy had chopped off his hair six months later, and was forced to wear an ill-fitting wig during the new finale. The anniversary screening reveals both choices.
No spoilers, but rest assured, the ending’s just ducky.