**/**** Image A Sound A+ Extras B-
starring Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy
written by John Hughes
directed by Howard Deutch
by Bill Chambers John Hughes made his mark with screenplays that had straightforward, saleable hooks. National Lampoon's Vacation is about a suburban family on a cross-country drive to a theme park. Mr. Mom is about a husband and wife switching places as the breadwinner of the family. Sixteen Candles is about a girl turning 16 whose family forgets her birthday. The Breakfast Club is about five high-school students serving detention on a Saturday. Weird Science is about a couple of geeks who Frankenstein themselves the perfect woman. But Pretty in Pink, inspired by though not based on The Psychedelic Furs' song of the same name, is an outlier in Hughes's early filmography in that it's merely an ode to his muse Molly Ringwald, its collection of feeble pretexts for shining the spotlight on her hardly constituting a premise. It's a movie that operates on the somewhat shaky assumption that Ringwald, like Anna Karina before her, is cinema, her most mundane gestures becoming iconic through the simple act of photographing them. The ultimate irony, of course, is that when Hughes transposed every non-event that happens in Pretty in Pink onto Some Kind of Wonderful a year later, it resulted in what was arguably his most high-concept project yet: the boy version of Pretty in Pink.