September 04, 2013
Somehow I've made it over a quarter century without seeing a lot of must-see movies. And for a movie fan that's pretty pitiful. I've seen the really big classics (Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz) of course, but there are a lot of films that have eluded me -- particularly the ones that seem to be required viewing if you want to be considered a member of my generation.
Star Wars. Never seen it!! I know! How is this even possible? I can spout off a list of my favorite Guy Kibbee movies like it's nothing but I can't even name one member of the brat pack. (Okay, Molly Ringwald. I can name one. But still.) Even though post 1970's movies aren't usually my cup of tea, I feel compelled to play catch-up, as if I've missed out on a cinematic rite of passage.
Last night I started with Pretty in Pink. I [head buried in my arms from embarrassment] had watched She's All That, a high school rom-com from the 90's that I saw in theaters when it was shiny and new. I was engulfed in a tsunami of nostalgia, sue me! Anyway, Netflix knew my shame and suggested Pretty in Pink afterwards.
I actually really liked it! I loved the soundtrack and Annie Potts' character, Iona, was completely fabulous. I want to be her. The plot reminded me a lot of those cheesy 90's films like She's All That (popular guy falls for unpopular girl, misunderstandings happen, and then there's a happy ending) but it had a much more offbeat vibe. I don't really know enough about 80's cinema to detect if it was a hallmark of the decade or the film itself, but the characters seemed a lot less shallow than they did in the 90's. They were a little more creative and seemed like unique individuals, not really stereotypes (at least the main characters didn't, there were definitely some vapid minor players that have become a hallmark of every movie that takes place in a high school setting.)
Overall, do I feel like my life before Pretty in Pink was a deep dark pit of despair and now everything is whole again? Not really. I liked the movie, but I'll still take Sullivan's Travels over it any day of the week. Honestly I'm not expecting to find my motion picture soulmate in my mounting pile of unwatched modern classics. I might be pleasantly surprised, but I'm pretty sure Sunday in New York is secure in it's #1 favorite slot. I do hope, however, that I'll become better schooled in the art of the cultural reference and have a broader knowledge of my all-time favorite hobby.