When The God of Teen Films Was Inspired By His Own Script: Comparing Pretty In Pink and Some Kind Of Wonderful
For February, I decided to take a look at two romantic teen films I’ve actually never seen up until now. These two films are Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful respectively.
Of the six ’80s teen films written by one of the genre’s famous writers, John Hughes, Some Kind of Wonderful is definitely one of his lesser-known films. Over the years, I’ve read about the film’s similarities to Pretty in Pink in everything but the ending. Hughes was supposedly dissatisfied with his preferred ending for Pretty in Pink being altered, so he recruited the same director to shoot Some Kind of Wonderful. This time, Some Kind of Wonderful had an ending that was closer to what Hughes had planned for Pretty in Pink.
Hughes basically ripped himself off to achieve his originally intended goal. That level of determination is very admirable. In the age of DVD and Blu Ray, this situation would’ve been rectified by just having the original ending be included as part of the film or as a bonus feature. Both movies were also released around exactly a year apart from each other (Pretty in Pink in February 1986 and Some Kind of Wonderful in February 1987). I’m not going to say which is the overall superior film since I’m more fascinated by the changes Hughes made between them.
Firstly, the three main leads in both films greatly correspond with each other. Pretty in Pink’s Andie (Molly Ringwald), Duckie (Jon Cryer) and Blane (Andrew McCarthy) are Keith (Eric Stoltz), Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Amanda (Lea Thompson) in Some Kind of Wonderful. The three main leads in both films can be defined by the following descriptions: the main lead (Andie/Keith), the best friend romantic interest (Duckie/Watts) and the popular romantic interest (Blane/Amanda).
This extends a bit even to the supporting cast where characters like Steff (James Spader), Andie’s dad (Harry Dean Stanton) and Iona (Annie Potts) are basically represented as Hardy (Craig Sheffer), Keith’s dad (John Ashton) and Duncan (Elias Koteas) respectively in Some Kind of Wonderful. The character roles filled by the sets of supporting characters in both films are the disapproving…