One night a few years back, I was bored and watching the John Hughes classic, PRETTY IN PINK, on cable. After it finished, it raised an interesting question in my head, one that I took to my Facebook account. I posted a question to all of my female friends: “Given a choice, would you rather be in a relationship with Duckie (played by Jon Cryer) or Blaine (played by Andrew McCarthy)?
Not surprisingly, almost everyone went with Blaine. When I asked why, the ladies pretty much all said the same thing- “Because he’s rich, handsome, and sensitive! Who wouldn’t go for that?” When I asked why Duckie wasn’t a viable dating option, the collective response was, “Duckie is nice, but he’s the type of guy I’d want as a friend!”
Cue my gag reflex.
Like most of my generation, I was raised on Hughes’s films, but PRETTY IN PINK has never been one of my favorites, mostly because I think it’s pure bullshit. It’s a live-action fairy tale like PRETTY WOMAN, only without the prostitution. The underlying subtext to women is, “Don’t worry, girls- someday your prince will come! There’s no reason you should ever have to settle for a regular human being!”
The hard truth is that guys like Blaine are literal figments of imagination. You know- like the unicorn. Think about it- if you were some rich kid who had it all and had every girl in school to choose from, WHY on God’s green Earth would you settle for some dowdy looking dork? I could see it if she had a great personality or a nice body under all the granny couture, but seriously, Molly Ringwald is not what I would consider worth the effort. If anything, I think Blaine has a little old lady fetish.
By and large, most guys who have money or are really good looking are like that guy Steff, (played by James Spader.) What women don’t understand is that guys who have more money also have more options. They don’t have to settle for one thing, and even if they do, they always have the option to stray. It’s always about the chase, never the conquest.
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t guys like Blaine floating around, but they’re pretty much like people with an AB blood type- around 5% of the total world’s population, which would probably make out to be 2.5% of the dating pool. Hell, it’s probably less than that, if I’m being honest. The chance of meeting a guy like him is akin to meeting your soulmate- a statistical impossibility. That makes for a lot of lonely women out there.
If you don’t believe me, feel free to check out dating websites such as OkCupid and Plenty of Fish, or as I call it- Plenty of Women with Unrealistic Expectations.
When it comes to dating, I admit that I’ve gotten fairly jaded. Women have become so focused on what you have to offer rather than who you are as a person. Most of the time, I don’t even bother trying. I say just enough to get what I want, and then I’m out the door. If there’s a hint of something more, I may stick around for a bit, but once it wears off, I’m gone.
The interesting thing about PRETTY IN PINK is, it makes a point that I think most women realize later in life- that the best relationships are rooted in friendship. Sure, most girls at a younger age tend to look at their male friends like asexual dorks that they’d never have sex with in a million years, but after a couple of decades of getting screwed over, there eventually comes a day when they look back at the one friend who treated them right and think, “God, what an idiot I am! I had the perfect guy in my life and I let him get away!”
Ladies, you may not want to acknowledge it, but the fact is, the Duckie will always be the right choice because when it comes right down to it, he will always try harder than the Blaine, because he knows he has to earn your love.
The funny thing is, in the original ending of PRETTY IN PINK, Andie ended up with Duckie instead of Blaine. The problem is, test audiences hated it. They preferred the fantasy ending to the more realistic one.
I guess life doesn’t always imitate art, huh?