Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley
Pretty in Pink – 2 Stars (Average)
Pretty in Pink is a classic high school story of first love and prom night, starring Molly Ringwald as Andie, a girl from the wrong side of tracks who falls for Blaine (Andrew McCarthy), a rich preppie.
For people who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks (this group includes your movie reviewer), Pretty in Pink strikes some emotional chords, such as looking at the homes of rich people, wondering what it would be like inside, and realizing you will never know; or, being asked to the prom and then being dumped by your date.
I give this movie two stars because of one story line item: after being dumped by her prom date Blaine, Andie decides to go to the prom alone; that requires not only courage but integrity, the idea that the date you had is not going to control your life.
Pretty in Pink falls apart psychologically in two critical ways. One, we are led to believe that Andie does not know that her best friend from childhood, Duckie, is crazy in love with her; and two, there is no real explanation why her date, Blaine, decided not to take her to the prom.
We are led to believe that it is because his rich parents and friends turned on him for dating a girl from the wrong social class, yet Blaine makes a case that it was something else; we are never told what that something else is, or the story line does not make it clear, either way, it fails to communicate properly.
Andie proves to be a girl of truth, courage and integrity. I give some props to John Hughes, the writer who chooses to make Andie a budding woman of substance rather than a push over. I believe that Andie, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, will live a better life than Blaine, who must overcome his social position to discover himself.
This movie is better done than so much slop of the same genre. I reserve the right to raise my rating on this film at a later date, and just might.
Saint Ralph – 2 Stars (Average)
Saint Ralph is the story of Ralph Walker (Adam Butcher), a 14-year-old boy who is raised by his single mother. He grows up without his father who died a war hero. His mother then gets ill and falls into a comma while he ends up living in his home alone telling school authorities he is living with his grandparents.
As if his life is not troubled enough, he is picked on and put down continually by his Catholic school classmates.
When he realizes he is bound for an orphanage if his mother dies, he has an epiphany that tells him if he accomplishes the miracle of winning the Boston Marathon his mother will come out of her comma and recover.
You will have to see the movie to discover if he wins the Boston Marathon. Despite some technical issues and weak acting, Saint Ralph is a movie worth the time and effort to see because of the values that it teaches, including having a dream, believing in your dream, being focused on your dream, and being determined to accomplish your dream.
This is a good film with a good message that falls short of a great film. There are audio problems which experience and knowledge could solve. Ralph has a diction problem which maturity and experience could resolve.
The title (Saint Ralph) does nothing to lift this good film to a great one. Miracle in the Making would have been a better title than setting up poor Ralph with the task of becoming a saint. The story line is really too much of a stretch, but at least the movie will touch your heart and moisten your eyes.
I would love to give this movie a 3-star rating, because it deserves it, but it just does not get it done.
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Ed Bagley is the author of Ed Bagley's Blog, which he publishes daily with fresh, original articles on Internet Marketing, Jobs and Careers, Movie Reviews and Lessons in Life intended to delight, inform, educate and motivate readers. Visit Ed at . . .
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