Duckie’s Not So Happily Ever After: Pretty in Pink’s 35th Anniversary

A recap of Pretty In Pink’s not so beloved ending change.

Duckie Dale is a prime example of how love sometimes may only end tragically. Yet, he will continue to pine after the girl of his dreams as long as he can.

Duckie Dale is a prime example of how love sometimes may only end tragically. Yet, he will continue to pine after the girl of his dreams as long as he can.

Sarah Kincaid, Bear Hub Editor

Pretty in Pink, the beloved 1986 John Hughes film, is about to be celebrating its 35th anniversary on February 28th. To give a quick overview of the film for those who may have not seen it, it focuses on our main character Andie Walsh, who has been deemed a social outcast by her fellow classmates. Her best friend Phil “Duckie” Dale is the quirky yet treasured sidekick who is completely in love with Andie but is unable to express that to her. When Blane McDonagh, one of the rich and most popular kids in school, asks Andie to go out with him, she quickly learns that dating in a different social class is not easy at all. She soon has to make that crucial decision of which way to go on with her life. Should she stay at the side of her childhood sweetheart who is nothing but head over heels for her? Or should she embrace the new attention from the rich yet affectionate playboy.

The ending of Pretty in Pink for viewers was highly unexpected. Our beloved Duckie Dale did not in fact get the girl of his dreams, instead the slightly selfish and arrogant Blane McDonagh ended up with Andie after prom night.
The director of this film intended to give us our happy ending, with Andie finally realizing her mutual love for best friend Duckie and leaving her complicated relationship with Blane behind. Yet, when he showed this film to a group of viewers, they booed at his original ending saying they wanted the more attractive and popular guy to win the girl, so the ending had to be changed. The director wasn’t necessarily happy to make this crucial change to Pretty in Pink, Andie ending up with Blane at the end would mean she let herself be pushed around by the stereotypical rich boy who only saw her as a vulnerable girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Duckie, on the other hand is told to just sacrifice the enormous amount of love he has for his best friend so she could gain a bit of popularity.
Changing the last five minutes of this film changed the whole meaning of it. Duckie would do anything for his best friend Andie, including pushing his love aside for her superficial wants of attention and a climb higher on the social ladder. A lesson coming out of this small change is that you could do everything in your power to make someone happy just like Duckie did, but they may never truly appreciate you for that. This isn’t our usual 80’s rom-com because it doesn’t end with that sappy happily ever after, instead it poses the question of whether or not loving someone so deeply is worth it, especially in high school.
In honor of it’s 35th anniversary, watch Pretty in Pink but maybe skip the last five minutes and instead appreciate our most beloved character Duckie Dale, the one who should’ve had his happy ending.