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Pretty in Pink back on the big screen for Valentine’s Day

Hard to believe, but it’s been 30 years since writer/executive producer John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink was released, both to critical acclaim and box-office success.

Almost as hard to believe is that yours truly saw Pretty in Pink at the long-defunct Somerville Drive-in in New Jersey on a double-bill with Choke Canyon, an action-packed sci-fi/pseudo- Western shoot-’em-up – which was the film I really wanted to see! (And, yes, even at the time I thought this was a very strange double-bill.)

Choke Canyon doesn’t seem to have the durability or lasting affection of fans that Pretty in Pink does, however, which is why Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures have teamed up to present the special screening event “Pretty in Pink 30 th Anniversary” at cinemas nationwide on Valentine’s Day – Sunday, Feb. 14, with encore screenings Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Almost 600 cinemas are participating, including two right here in Greensboro: Brassfield Cinema 10 (2101 New Garden Rd.) and Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 (3205 Northline Ave.).

The much-loved romantic comedy/drama, set against Hughes’ patented backdrop of contemporary high school and rife with adolescent angst, stars Molly Ringwald as Andie, a wistful high-school senior who nurses a crush on fellow student Blane (Andrew McCarthy).

But Andie, a working-class girl who comes from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks, finds resistance from both her friends and Blane’s rich friends, who disapprove of the relationship.

Pretty in Pink, which is rated PG-13, offered good roles to Harry Dean Stanton, as Andie’s disillusioned dad, and Annie Potts as Iona, the quirky manager of the record store where Andie works, and offered significant career boosts for the younger actors in the cast, including Jon Cryer as Andie’s adoring best friend Duckie (still among the actor’s most popular characters) and James Spader (at his sneering best) as Blane’s obnoxious friend Steff. You’ll also spot Kate Vernon, Kristy Swanson, Dweezil Zappa, Gina Gershon and Andrew “Dice” Clay in there, too.

“Pretty in Pink is a heartwarming and mostly truthful movie, with some nice touches of humor,” wrote Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Ringwald is becoming an actress who can project poignancy and vulnerability without seeming corny or coy, and her scenes here with Cryer and Potts have one moment of small truth after another.”

The film marked the third and last of the Hughes/Ringwald collaborations, following Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985), and also marked the feature directorial debut of Howard Deutsch, who directed the Hughes-scripted Some Kind of Wonderful the very next year.

In addition to the feature film, audiences will enjoy a behind-the-scenes documentary about its production (and lasting impact), and learn about the original ending that was rejected by test audiences – necessitating a last-minute reshoot.

“It is exciting to celebrate 30 years of Pretty in Pink by showing it back in movie theaters for Valentine’s Day,” said John Rubey, CEO of Fathom Events, in an official statement. “Many from this generation have never seen it on the big screen and now they have two very special chances.”

(Actually, with the encore screenings, they have four chances to see Pretty in Pink on the big screen.) !

WANNA go?

Showtimes are 2 pm and 7 pm Sunday, Feb. 14, with encore screenings at 2 pm and 7 pm Wednesday, Feb. 17. Tickets at Brassfield Cinema 10 are $5 (all seats) for the 2 pm Sunday and Wednesday screenings, $7 (general admission) and $5 (seniors and children) for the 7 pm Sunday and Wednesday screenings. Tickets at Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 are $13.34 (all seats, all screenings). For advance tickets or more information, check out www.FathomEvents.com.

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