Over on EW.com, writer Dalton Ross reports that while his wife loves Pretty In Pink, he feels that Sixteen Candles is a much better movie. When he tells her so, she gives him a "deathly stare." (He doesn't mention that his wife is Christina Kelly — formerly of Sassy, YM, Jane and ElleGirl.) In any case, Ross makes the case that women like Pretty In Pink, while guys like Sixteen Candles. (He also acknowledges the greatness of Breakfast Club and Weird Science.) But in the battle of the Ringwald vehicles, Ross builds an argument for the superiority of Sixteen Candles that is quite sound. (We're putting aside the fact that SC is terribly racist.) First, John Hughes wrote and directed Sixteen Candles, while Pretty In Pink was directed by Howard Deutch. Secondly, while the cuteness of Duckie cannot be denied, Ross insists that Jon Cryer is merely doing his best Anthony Michael Hall.
Hall is flat-out genius in Sixteen Candles playing the self-proclaimed ''King of the Dipshits.'' He's responsible for no less than a hundred classic moments: from charging admission to see Molly Ringwald's underwear, to making a post-party cocktail in Jake's kitchen, to getting his dorky friends to take a picture of him and a passed out hottie in the Rolls Royce. Honestly, it is no contest.Dalton's third point? The difference in the two films' leading men, Jake Ryan and Blane. Ross writes: "Supposedly dreamboat character of Blane has no backbone, dresses lame, and has an even lamer haircut... Jake Ryan on the other hand is a certified stud." And you know what? He's right! Blane was an insecure, easily-bullied wuss. Raise your hand if you were disappointed in Andie for kissing him at the end — BMW be damned! (The true hottie in PIP is James Spader's Steff — and Ross acknowledges that his performance and quote, "That girl was, is, and always will be nada!'' are pretty genius.)
Ross also compares soundtracks and father characters — he feels that SC's Thompson Twins trump PIP's OMD. Harry Dean Stanton as Andie's deadbeat dad in PIP is delightfully pathetic (Hughes should have written a plotline where Andie's dad finally gets a job — as a janitor at her school!); Paul Dooley as Samantha's dad in SC is wildly hilarious.
But what this really comes down to is romance, and a teen movie's depiction of it: Pretty In Pink is basically Cinderella — a lowly, common girl's life is changed by a Prince in pleated pants; Sixteen Candles is slightly more realistic: Sam thinks Jake is hot, period. And he's bored with his girlfriend and looking for something new. That's what high school is all about! SC may have been emotionally flat, but the comedy was first-rate. PIP tried to get emotional (when, exactly did Andie and Blane fall for each other? Do you ever see them truly enjoying each other's company? Except for the making out in the barn?) and never really succeeded. Christina Kelly — and maybe some other women — think Pretty In Pink is romantic. But does the warm feeling it gives you make it a better movie? Or can you accept that, while you may have a soft spot for a yuppie love story, Sixteen Candles is actually better?