What “Pretty In Pink” taught me about friendship and love

If you’re a longtime John Hughes fan like myself, Pretty In Pink’s 30th anniversary is something on your radar. Pretty In Pink was originally released on Feb. 28, 1986. The iconic film has easily become a classic over the last three decades touching the hearts of any hopeless romantic.

Back in my early teen years, Pretty In Pink was introduced to me by one of my best friends. She had been obsessed with 1980s films, specifically from the Brat Pack era, and passed that love onto me. We had countless sleepovers dedicated to John Hughes flicks ranging from The Breakfast Club to Sixteen Candles. I easily fell in love with the witty characters, romantic plotlines, and coming-of-age stories.

While many years have passed since I first saw the film, Pretty In Pink still holds a special spot in my heart. No matter if you’re rooting for Duckie or Blane to end up with the girl, the film is relatable to everyone in some fashion. There are tales of love, heartbreak, and true friendship all bundled into one. After watching the film as a teen and now re-watching it as an adult, all of the lessons still remain true.

Don’t be afraid to stay true to yourself

One of the best things about Andie (Molly Ringwald) is how unique and true to herself she is. Her character doesn’t care about the hottest fashion trends at the mall or what the popular crowd is doing on Friday nights. Andie chooses to surround herself with a tightknit circle of friends, designs her own clothing, and doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. While Blane’s group of friends may not accept Andie, she fully embraces who she is and doesn’t let any negativity from others rule her life.

Romantic gestures come big and small

Pretty In Pink is full of romantic gestures from the two leading men Blane (Andrew McCarthy) and Duckie (Jon Cryer). Duckie is the prime example of a hopeless romantic who wears his heart on his sleeve. He tries any and everything in his attempt to sweep Andie off her feet. While he’s not always smooth when trying to impress, Duckie sure is adorable during his rendition of Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” Every great love movie has a scene with a serenade and that’s no exception with Pretty In Pink. For a romantic gesture on the smaller scale, it’s a simple smile from Blane as he first enters Trax that leaves Andie with butterflies in her stomach. Oh, the joy of being young and in love.

Moving on is hard to do

The same thing goes for breaking up. Andie’s father is struggling with moving on after his wife had walked out on the family three years ago. He’s trying his best to put a good face on, but recovering from a tragic heartbreak doesn’t always happen overnight. Andie tries her best to be there for her father because they know they only have each other to rely on. Duckie also faces heartbreak after Andie chooses to go on a date with Blane. Ultimately, he has to come to terms with the fact Andie will never have feelings for him outside of the friendzone. Getting over a crush is never easy – especially when they also happen to be your best friend.

Always stay strong even when the going gets tough

One of the most unforgettable scenes in the film is when Andie chooses to attend the prom despite the heartbreak she was experiencing from Blane. Andie is truly resilient in this scene because she wanted everyone to know that they didn’t break her in the end. While things won’t always go perfectly as planned, putting your best foot forward and having the love and support of those you care about most makes all the difference in getting through a difficult time.

Money doesn’t buy you everything

One of the main themes in the movie is the fact Andie and Blane come from two different financial backgrounds. The hostility Andie endures from Blane’s group of friends causes strife between the two lovebirds. At one point in the film, Blane confronts his friend Steff (James Spader) about the fact his money couldn’t buy Andie. While money will always be able to provide access to material things, it won’t give you the comfort and security of being loved.

Relationships may come and go, best friends are forever

It’s safe to say Andie and Duckie’s friendship is the definition of goals. No matter the circumstances they are always unconditionally there for one another. When Andie nervously arrives at the prom alone, she ends up seeing Duckie waiting and they enter the dance together. Despite Duckie getting his heart broken, he doesn’t let that get in the way of his close friendship with Andie. He continues to support Andie and prove their friendship will always remain strong no matter what they are facing. Having a friend who sticks around in good and bad times is one you should never let go of.

Follow your heart

Love is a tad complicated for all of the characters in Pretty In Pink. Anyone who has been in a relationship understands it’s tough to put yourself out there in fear of heartbreak or rejection. Knowing the honest truth about whether or not your crush feels the same way for you will always outweigh the regret you’d feel if you left it as “what if?” Following your heart and putting your love on the line could leave you with the happily ever after you’ve always dreamed of. If not, there’s always a new door on the horizon that you may have never expected in the first place.