Friday, April 19, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Pretty In Pink (dvd)

From time to time, I like to watch or rewatch old movies with the question of "Would this hold up today?" in mind. Having recently read and enjoyed Pretty In Punxsutawney, a modern-day mashup of Groundhog Day and Pretty in Pink, I decided yesterday to watch Pretty in PinkI've actually never seen this movie.  Shocking, I know, but it was came out in that odd space that was a few years before I was old enough to watch it and, when I finally was old enough, I just never got around to it. But since I had fun reading the book that drew inspiration from the film, I caved into curiosity. 

The result was...fairly lackluster, at best.

The plot of the movie is pretty simple (or is it simple-minded?): Poor Girl Andie is in love with Rich Boy Blaine. He kind of likes her too...but so does her geektastic and, quite honestly, obnoxious best friend, Duckie. Andie and Blaine go on a few dates, upsetting everyone at their cliquey school. Duckie also tries to throw a wrench or two into their relationship (what sort of bff does this? I ask you?). There is drama. Much drama. And so much angst. The film cumulates, rather predictably, at Prom where the two high school lovebirds share a kiss. And apparently everything is peachy after that.

TBH, I can't believe this movie is considered to be the classic it is. I found it to be so awful I could barely get through it! There was absolutely no chemistry between the characters, romantic or otherwise, and the acting was severly amateur (however, I do have to say that Molly Ringwold can pull off deadpan almost as well as Aubry Plaza). Side characters were one-dimensional and all attempts to make main characters seem quirky and well-rounded only came off as off-putting. If one were in the mood, one could also find a lot be offended by too, from Duckie's sexual harassment of random female students and pretty much stalking Andie to characters openly smoking in school (I know, it was the 80s, but still) to the all-white cast. Cringe and cringe and cringe again. I could go on, but I'll keep it short. All I know is if this film were released today as-is, it would draw an unprecedented firestorm of critique.  

But taken for what it is and considering it comes from a time period when the world was a far different place... It's still a terrible film. Not something I would recommend. 


Monday, April 15, 2019

Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy, by Rey Terciero

Growing up, I was never an avid reader of the so-called "classics," only picking them  up (grudgingly) when I was assigned to do so by a well-meaning English teacher. I'm still not a classics fan. So it goes without saying I never read Little Women. I knew the story, though, because my cousin had an uber-condensed, kid-friendly audio version that we once listened to in the car on the way to the water park: There's these four sisters who live with their mom and one of them dies at the end (or doesn't, I suppose, if you're reading the alternate ending). In the middle, there's a bunch of girl drama and a boring romance. 


But while not being a fan of Classics, I DO love me a good reboot of such stories, be it in book or movie form (for example, the movie Clueless is a retelling of Emma). In fact, I could even make a case that one of my favorite books of all time is a modern remix of Don Quixote. So I wasn't so adverse when I picked up Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy, by Rey Terciero, a modern-day graphic novel re-imagining of Little Women

Here, the author took several liberties to make the story more accessible to the intended teen audience. Firstly, the characters are in their teens and tweens, rather than already (or mostly) grown. And they had contemporary struggles, such as wanting to fit in by having things like the latest iPhone and struggling with questions about their sexuality. Also, because the story is set today, modern medicine is able to save Beth. Finally, the sisters are very diverse. There's still plenty of drama, though. Maybe even more so than the original.

While I didn't absolutely LOVE the book, I did enjoy it. And I think the intended audience will enjoy it too. I'd give it to fans of Smile and Sisters and Positively Izzy. --AJB