To any of my female friends, I want you to know that I DO love you as friends, and there’s no ulterior motive for me, just having you as my friend.
Most of you who know me know that I usually have a lot to say, so there’s no underlying reason for making Duckie Dale the subject of my first blog. I think most of you have seen the movie “Pretty In Pink” with Molly Ringwold, Andrew McCarthy, and Jon Cryer. It was a typical John Hughes 80’s teen movie, yet for some reason the character in that movie known as Duckie Dale (the Jon Cryer role) has always stayed with me, and not in a good way.
For those of you who need a refresher on the movie, Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is a poor but fashion-conscious New Wave girl who has a crush on one of the rich boys in her school, Blane McDonough (Andrew McCarthy). When Andie and Blane try to get together, they encounter resistance from their respective social circles.
Andie lives on “the wrong side of the tracks” with her father (Harry Dean Stanton) who is struggling with depression after Andie’s mother abandoned the family some years before. Her best friend, Phil “Duckie” Dale (Jon Cryer) has intense feelings for Andie, but plays it off as a joke in front of her. In school, he and Andie are harassed by Blane’s friends, the stuck-up, yet ever popular, so-called “richie” kids Benny (Kate Vernon) and Steff (James Spader).
Andie works at TRAX, a music store in the Chinatown neighborhood of Chicago, managed by her older friend and mentor Iona (Annie Potts). We witness Iona’s quirky and unconventional dress sense (which is more influenced by her personal tastes than by her age group) as she moans about her newly single life. Iona advises Andie to go to her senior prom despite not having a date.
Soon, Blane makes his move via chatting in the computer lab and Andie is smitten. Blane ventures out to the area at school where the punks, metalheads, and New Wavers hang out and asks Andie on a date. Steff begins questioning why his best friend “was conversing with a mutant,” but Blane brushes him off.
On the Friday night of the date, Andie waits for Blane at TRAX, but he is late. Duckie arrives instead, only to find Andie upset because she thinks she’s been stood up. When Blane finally arrives, Duckie and Andie argue. Duckie tries to convince her that Blane will only hurt her. After a few harsh words, Duckie storms out, and Andie goes on her date.
First, Blane suggests going to a party Steff is throwing but the party isn’t exactly what Blane expected, and Andie is treated poorly by everyone, including a drunk Steff and Benny. Andie, in turn, suggests going to the local club, where they discover Iona sitting with Duckie. Duckie is immediately hostile toward Blane, and as he and Andie start walking out of the club, Duckie kisses a startled Iona.
Blane offers to take Andie home, but she finally admits she doesn’t want him to see where she lives. He drops her off there anyway and they kiss; afterward he asks Andie to the prom. The next day, Andie visits Iona in her loft and Iona begins reminiscing about her own prom, donning her old pink prom dress and a beehive hairstyle
At home, Andie’s father surprises her with a pink dress he bought for her at the thrift shop. Questioning how he was able to afford it, Andie discovers he has been faking going to a full-time job. The two begin to fight until her father breaks down, obviously still bitter and depressed about his wife having left him.
Meanwhile Blane, pressured by Steff, begins distancing himself from Andie. He avoids her at school and doesn’t return her calls until she finally confronts him. He claims that he had asked someone else to go to the prom with him before he’d asked her, but had forgotten. Andie runs away, heartbroken.
Andie finds Iona preparing for a date with a yuppie, dressing like a normal adult for a change. Iona is already thinking about marriage. At first she is too wrapped up in her new romance to notice that Andie is upset. Iona’s newly found happiness inspires Andie. She goes home with her friend’s old dress and creates a new pink dress in which she decides to attend the prom to “show them they didn’t break [her].”
When she gets to the prom she has second thoughts about braving the crowd on her own. Just as it looks like she may back out, she sees Duckie, also dressed up. They walk into the ballroom hand in hand. Steff snickers and begins trashing Andie and Duckie again, only to be finally told off by the normally passive Blane, who says that Andie could never be bought. Blane shakes Duckie’s hand and tells Andie that he always believed in her, he just didn’t believe in himself. He says he’ll always love her no matter what and leaves the prom. Duckie concedes that she was right, “He’s not like the others”, and advises Andie to go after him. After Andie leaves, a blonde girl (Kristy Swanson) notices Duckie and silently invites him to go over and dance with her.
Outside of the prom, Andie catches up with Blane in the parking lot just before he gets to his car and they share a kiss.
(Synopsis courtesy of Wikipedia)
Duckie is a great guy, right? What the hell is wrong with me, thinking that this guy is a sleazeball??
Pretty simple, the guy’s intentions were disingenuous, he had ulterior motives. Everything he did with Andie, every event, conversation and the like, had the motive of being more than just friends. Andie never saw that until much later in the movie. Think of the power that Duckie had over Andie. He could use his friendship to affect every relationship that Andie had. I’m sure had the movie been longer, we’d have seen more of his “help” in moving her to decisions that were solely in HIS best interest. Now by saying this, I’m not saying that Andie didn’t have a mind of her own, I’m saying she may have listened to him and taken advice under the guise of friendship when clearly this bloodsucker wanted more. Whether it was sex or a relationship, it doesn’t matter.
I see this happen so much in real life. Recently someone I know came to me about a friend of hers, and after describing some scenarios to me, I said to her “This guy DEFINITELY wants more than a friendship. Go talk with him, and you’ll see that I’m right.” Sure enough, she called me the next day to let me know that she had her own Duckie Dale. This guy had been into her for more than friendship for seven years…………….SEVEN FUCKING YEARS!!! She was devastated. She was furious over the fact that this guy had given her relationship advice over the years, influencing her as if he was her friend, but had other motives.
Part of the problem that I see with the Duckie Dales of the world is that when the truth finally comes out, the other person has to suffer 2 losses, the breakup of a romantic relationship that never really took place, and the loss of a friendship. How fair is that? By the way, let me add that real life Duckie Dales don’t have to be guys exclusively, they can be women. Years ago I had one, and it was difficult for me to accept as well. Everyone walks away hurt because the Duckies can never muster the guts to tell Andies how they really feel.
Muster up the mojo, tell the other person how you feel, it gets it all over with (good or bad) at the front end, and saves everyone all of the emotional turmoil that can take place over the years with a “friendship” formed under false pretenses. Look at your Facebook pages. Do you have any Duckie Dales on your “friends” list? I’ll bet you do. Get rid of them, they’ll make you miserable, if they haven’t already.