Damn you, Blane! You did it to me again.

Last night, I clicked the wrong channel by accident and came face to face with the opening scene of Pretty In Pink on the Style Network. For me, that’s one of the top five movies I simply have to stop and watch no matter what else is going on.

Not just because Ducky and I shared the same hair style.

Not just because Andrew McCarthy and I were going to get married some day.

(And still might. Just saying.)

Those brat packers, they were the same age as me (or at least they played them in the movies). When Molly Ringwald was a geeky freshman in vintage clothes, I was a geeky freshman in vintage clothes. When she was heartbroken and feeling outcast for loving the wrong guy, I was heartbroken and feeling outcast for loving the wrong guy.

And that was the brilliance of John Hughes: He had the amazing ability to know the minds of every single teenager on the planet.

So within seconds of hearing OMD last night, my stomach knotted up, my palms got moist, and I was a hormonal, angsty, high school senior again–pissed that my boyfriend asked to bring another girl to the prom with us (she didn’t have a date, boo-hoo), hating my mother, loving my friends like they were family, filling journals with bad poetry, making up songs to the tune of Forever Young, and vaguely worried that life doesn’t get any better than this.

Me and Hally circa 1986, living the asymmetrical-haired dream.
What are your movies that bring you back and make you feel 17 again? And please don’t say Harold and Kumar.

43 thoughts on “Damn you, Blane! You did it to me again.”

  1. LOVE IT!! I too lived the Pretty in Pink dream. My friends and I were also huge HEATHERS fans. They just don't make good teen angst movies like they used to!

  2. While I'm *only* 30, I'm going to go with Grease, which was re-released when I was a senior, and which I went to see with a girlfriend only to go and see the douchebag I was dating there with another girl. But also Little Women, which I watched about 400 times. Hey, there was no John Hughes in the 90's.

  3. John Hughes was a genius. Sixteen Candles (Jake Ryan!), Breakfast Club (oh, Judd Nelson…whew)…Ferris Bueller (hmm..even then, Charlie Sheen looked like a scuzz!)

  4. Anything John Hughes. Yeah. I am there. And Grease (which I did see in original release, although I was only 7, but hot damn, Danny was the MAN.)

    Also? About Last Night, Mystic Pizza, Youngblood and St. Elmo's Fire are others that take me back.

    The other day I heard an INXS song on the radio and BOOM!! Transported. I was no longer a confident mom in the suburbs driving her luxury sedan with 2 cute kiddos in the back (they were bopping along to the song, I might add)


  5. St. Elmos fire was the first movie I saw with my then boyfriend, now husband. Robb Lowe was almost “too pretty” in that movie. Although I'm older than you by a lot, I loved those movies and in fact, saw Judd Nelson in a bar on our first date ever in NYC! They do take me back but I also loved The Big Chill. I still love teen movies and just saw Easy A. They always take me back to the time of teen crushes and possibilities.

    Sorry I'm so wordy. Great post!

  6. I loved Pretty in Pink, too, even though it came out the year I graduated from college. (Most of the “teenagers” in it were my age anyway, so it worked out.) Girls working in a record store and being sarcastic about Madonna = dream come true.

  7. The Breakfast Club and The Outsiders. In fact, I just tivo'd The Outsiders last week. Can't wait to watch it.

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  8. I second Romeo & Juliet. Also, SLC Punk, because that's the age I roughly saw it for the first time, oh dear lord had I known my life would end up looking a lot more like that minus the Mormonism, I may have made a few changes.

  9. Clueless. Because I was 16 when Alicia Silverstone was 16 (well, her character was 16). My life was pretty much nothing like hers, but it was neat to imagine that it was . . .

  10. I loved John Hughes movies. I was tracking along with their age too – plus they always had great soundtracks! Remember Ducky all forlorn in an alley with the Smiths “Please please please let me get what I want..” playing in the background? Perfect teenage angst.

    One movie I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet “Valley Girl” How many times did you guys watch that?Again with the awesome soundtrack…

    And a more obscure good girl falls for bad boy – one from around 1982 “Reckless” with a very young Darryl Hannah and Aidan Quinn. AND almost the entire INXS album Shaboo Shabah)(sp?) plus a little Romeo Void sprinkled in.

    And two more words. Lloyd Dobler.
    “Say Anything”

    Always transported back when I hear those songs or see those movies.

  11. Pretty In Pink – instantly transports me. I was a senior in '86, and all those John Hughes films (and the music in them) really shaped my identity in some way, or mirrored it, or something. I also liked Less Than Zero because it depicted a life the complete opposite of mine and omg Robert Downey Jr.!

  12. Oh goodness. Definitely Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Breakfast Club, et al, but (sadly?) there are tons of horror flics and just plain bad movies that fill hours of my long term memory.

    Nightmare on Elm Street, anyone? Or how about Hot Dog, The Movie. Truly classic and TERRIBLE. But hey, it had Finola Hughes, and she was rumored to be dating John Taylor of Duran Duran.

  13. I love all of those! PIP, 16 Candles, Breakfast Club, St. Elmos, and Say Anything.

    But my all time favorite movie in that genre is Some Kind of Wonderful. Talk about teenage angst!

    It's one of those movies I MUST watch everytime it comes on.

  14. Not 17, but 14. “Ten things I hate about you” was filmed at my high school the summer before my freshman year. They asked a lot of local people to come as extras, so I spent a good portion of my summer there. Now, every time I see it I have fond memories of a simpler time.

  15. It's absoulutely “Footloose” for me! I was 14 and I had such a huge crush on Kevin Bacon. That soundtrack takes me back every time! I could sing every word of every song. Couldn't we all?

  16. What a great question! Since the classics have already been wonderfully articulated, I'll add a non-classic to the list that still causes my unresolved high school angst to surface: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was the first movie I saw on a date with a boy and the date did not go well, although I'm certain Tim Burton had nothing to do with it.

  17. Now I have “If you leave, don't look back. Please don't take my heart away” buzzing around my head. and I like it. Thanks!

  18. The movie that takes me right back to being 16 is Sixteen Candles. It is my favorite movie of all time.I so heart John Hughes. I was totally Samantha and I had my very own Jake Ryan..right down to him being the upper classman jock picking me up in his cool car and whisking me away.It was all very sweet and innocent & every time I watch that movie. It takes me right back to being that girl, getting my first 'real'boyfriend and kiss back in the 80's.Now,I must go watch. I am all warm and fuzzy inside:)

  19. Last night I came across Dazed & Confused. While the movie takes place before I was born, it came out when I was in high school. My friends and I watched it so much, we could quote the entire thing. And, even though we were partying 20 years later, how the partying went down was very similar.

  20. Sixteen Candles. I am still waiting for my very own Jake to pick me up in his red Porsche.

  21. It's so funny that you posted this today because last week I was having all of these “blast from past” moments with stumbling on old Christian music groups I used to listen to, sitting all day on Saturday's and watching Lifetime Movies (which I did this weekend)and then watching a bunch of other movies this week that I remember seeing when they first came out as a teen.

  22. I love your shoes in that pic more than your hair! ;P

    Sixteen Candles is definitely my favorite John Hughes movie. And one of my faves EVER!

    But sadly when I was 17 I was WAY into the Disney movies like Lion King and Aladdin. Dorky, I know.

  23. That movie has to be absolutely one of my favs too! You are bringing back memories for me all over again!!

    OMD, Psychedelic Furs…Ducky and Blane. Molly Ringwald. I might just have to dig up that movie again. Yes, I have it on DVD 🙂

  24. Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club and the original Can't Buy Me Love – I can remember going to see each of them in the theater wearing some horrible 80's teen outfit. But I can also get suckered into Grease, Heathers and 10 Things I Hate About You. Or pretty much any good high school movie.

  25. “Pretty Woman”…I dragged my poor high school boyfriend to that movie TWICE. That's a MAJOR deal, since we were both, um, not exactly rolling in money. I don't know that he loved it as much as I did, but he totally humored me. He even bought me the soundtrack for Valentine's Day that year. Awwww!

  26. Wow! I can hear the soundtrack now and can feel the busted up case of the cassette in my hands now! All of John Hughes movies take me back to being sixteen. But as far as that butterfly-ish feeling in my stomach, I also can't resist the movie Singles. When it's on, I have to watch it. It came out when I was almost out of college. Campbell Scott, Matt Dillon and that Paul Westerberg sound. Dreamy, dreamy, dreamy.

  27. Saw Andrew on the 6 train last week, funny you just wrote about Pretty and Pink. We all wanted to marry him. Glad I missed that opportunity, wouldn't have wanted to relive the 80's over and over again.

  28. We have to comment on the hair! It's just so great that you were brave enough to sport the true '80s style. We embrace curls (even slightly mis-guided ones)! Thanks for the “totally awesome” post!
    -Deb for Ouidad

  29. I love everything John Hughes. EVERYTHING. I do believe I stapled 45' records to my ceiling a la Annie Potts a la Pretty In Pink. Thankfully I wasn't left with the impression that I could make my own prom dress!

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