11 April 2010

Enter The Duck-Man

Mood: Happy (I've had a great weekend w/ the hubs enjoying the nice spring weather!)

What I'm Watching: Kirstie Alley's Big Life (Seriously? I think I need a reality TV intervention but watching Kirstie Alley getting a Twitter intervention is just too funny!)

If you were a pre-teen/teen in the 80's then there's little doubt that you were well aquainted with phenomenon that was the John Hughes teenage movie. The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off - they're all absolutely amazing and if you were born after the 80's and haven't yet seen them, you should run right out to your local video store and rent them. If you were a teen in the 80's and you haven't seen them? What the hell is wrong with you?!?

Anyway, while they're all great, what's been sticking in the back of my mind for the last few days is the Mollie Ringwald/Jon Cryer classic "Pretty In Pink".

For those of you heathens who are unfamiliar with the magical genius that is "Pretty In Pink", the movie is a basic love triangle (but with a kick ass 80's sound track and hello? Jon Cryer). Mollie Ringwald plays Andie - a poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is constantly accompanied (and semi-stalked) by her friend Duckie (played brilliantly by Jon Cryer) who is totally and utterly in love with her. Then, of course, what teenage drama would be complete withouat the totally cool, completely awesome, popular and rich guy - in this case we have Blane (played by Andrew McCarthy).

At the end of the movie, Andie ends up with Blane. Blane. Yes, I know I totally just gave away the ending of the movie - too damn bad, you've had over 20 years to watch it!

Ahem, anyway, Andie ends up with Blane but every woman I know, knows that she totally should have ended up with Duckie. Duckie might not have been as rich or classically handsome as Blane but the  Duck Man was totally there for her no matter what. He was even gracious in defeat - if being with Blane was going to make Andie happy? Duckie was totally willing to step aside and let her be happy with Blane.

*Sigh* How romantic right? So how could she not have ended up with Duckie? The truth is that, orginally, Andie did end up with Duckie but that ending didn't play well in front of test audiences. They wanted Andie to end up with Blane so the ending was changed because it was thought it would "play better" for the film audience.

So I know you're asking yourself "what does this have to do with anything?" Possibly nothing and possibly everything. Like many writers I write and I worry that what I write isn't good enough. I plot and I worry that the plots won't make sense to the reader - that they won't "get it". I think about the query process and I get knots in my stomach because I know that the process will bring with it tons of rejection.

But really, does any of that matter? I mean, sure, it would be great if every agent, reader and critic totally loved everything I write but ultimately the stories are mine. Taking constructive criticism is a necessary part of the writing process but pleasing everyone along the path is not. I totally need to remember that sometimes? A girl needs to end up with her Duckie no matter what the test audiences think!



  1. Ha! I loved Pretty in Pink. And I totally thought she would end up with Duckie. Especially because ending with Blane felt so contrived. Now, I will be honest. I was not a preteen or a teen in the 80's. I was a prepreteen. But I still loved those movies. Although, ok, back then, I liked that she ended up with Blane. I was stupid like that. But now, I can see it with less stupid eyes and see that Duckie was her sweetie all along.

    BUT, in Sixteen Candles, she totally ended up with the right guy--who was later the hunk in Mermaids, by the way (with Cher and what's her face shoplifter?) And Oh my gosh, that guys was totally hot. I was so glad they ended up on the table together (in Sixteen Candles) but he totally faded away at the end of Mermaids. What's up with that? He was so cute, and yet Bam!! He moves away never to be seen again. So sad.

    Oh, and I get what you mean. I always worry about that too, if I'm taking the story in the right direction. *sigh*

  2. Carol, I swear I posted a reply to this before...hmmm... *looks under couch cushions for blog posting*.

    I totally agree that she ended up with the right guy in Sixteen Candles. That last scene gets me every single time! *teenage swoon*

  3. You're so right. Not everyone will agree with your wording or characters or plot, but you have to stay true to the book you're writing. I heard Stephen King has 6 beta readers and he only makes a change if more than half of them suggest it. You can't make everyone happy.


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