“Pretty in Pink”’s Andrew McCarthy ‘Didn't Quite Get’ the Love for the 1986 Film: ‘It Just Sort of Escaped Me’ (Exclusive)

“I finally got it years later, but at the time, I didn't think it was very interesting,” McCarthy tells PEOPLE

<p>Ron Adar/Shutterstock</p> Andrew McCarthy on June 7, 2024

Ron Adar/Shutterstock

Andrew McCarthy on June 7, 2024

Andrew McCarthy wasn’t a fan of Pretty in Pink in the beginning.

The Brats documentary director, 61, shared in an interview with PEOPLE that while he “loved making” the iconic 1986 film Pretty in Pink, he didn’t quite understand the story that the filmmakers had been trying to tell at the time.

“I didn't think it was that interesting,” McCarthy says. “I didn't quite get the movie at the time. I thought, this is a movie about a girl wanting to go to a dance and make a dress, [and] if so who cares?”

“I was wrong,” he adds. “I finally got it years later, but at the time, I didn't think it was very interesting. It just sort of escaped me.”

Everett Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald in a 'Pretty in Pink' promo photo
Everett Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald in a 'Pretty in Pink' promo photo

Related: BRATS Trailer: Andrew McCarthy Reunites the Brat Pack to ‘Clear the Air’ in Documentary (Exclusive)

He went on to liken the movie to a “fairytale,” citing the film’s original ending in which Molly Ringwald’s character Andie ends up with Jon Cryer’s character Duckie instead of his character Blane.

“I end up dumping Molly, and then she goes with Jon Cryer to the prom, and they do a test screening on that — and the audience loves the movie — and they get to that [scene], then the audience hates the movie,” he recalls.

“She wants that guy,” he says, referring to his character. “You have to give her that guy. She doesn't want the best friend. She wants [romance].”

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Almost 40 years later, the film is still considered a teen classic.

McCarthy attributes the movie’s popularity in pop culture in part due to the emotions it captured in a young person’s life — something he said writer John Hughes was able to capture so skillfully.

“They gave people credit for [being] young people, credit for real emotions and they took them seriously,” he explains. “That's why those movies hold up because of the emotions.”

Related: 30 Things You Might Not Know About 'Pretty in Pink', 30 Years Later

He continues, “The hairdos are funny, the music kind of old fashioned, but the emotions are the same.”

He says if a person who had never watched the film before was able to get through the older film editing style and go, “Oh my God, that was so cool” by the end of the movie, then their mission had been accomplished.

“And that's all at the end of the day, what you want, you want to just feel identification,” he tells PEOPLE. “Then we feel less alone and we feel seen, and that's all any of us ever want feel seen.”

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