Pretty in Pink (1986)
After the success of his magnum opus The Breakfast Club, John Hughes returned to the high-school subgenre and once again demonstrated his immaculate ability for putting himself in teenagers' shoes with this script. He left the direction to young first-timer Howard Deutch, however, and the result is an uneven, but occasionally remarkably poignant film about the power of in-groups – and of love, ultimately – in our teenage years. As such, this is Carrie meeting The Breakfast Club, and even though Molly Ringwald was almost as talented as Sissy Spacek, and Jon Cryer was almost as talented as Anthony Michael Hall, the film turns out not to be as principled as the two aforementioned classics. Because although both Andie, Blane and Duckie feel like real people, and they embody very much real conflicts and emotions, the film makes compromises in a couple of crucial scenes – arguably because the filmmakers wanted more to be crowd-pleasers than they wanted to tell the truth. Which is a pity, because Pretty in Pink does tell the truth – a lot of the time. There's fine work by all of the performers, but particularly Ringwald who carries the weighty lead-role with remarkable naturalness.