Last year I composed and presented my personal love letter to John Hughes and Molly Ringwald—a live theatrical fusion of the three films they made together titled “MOLLYWOOD.” As an awkward gay teenage boy in 1980s Midwest, I searched desperately for any reflection of my own feelings of isolation and longing and for guidance in understanding how I might fit into this seemingly hostile landscape. And then John Hughes gave me “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink”—three 1980s Midwest fairytales about awkward teenage isolation and longing. I didn’t need deep socio-political deconstruction of my experience; I just needed to know I wasn’t uniquely alone in feeling unique and alone. If Molly Ringwald could weather the storms of teen angst, then so could I. If, in the final reel, Molly could win the heart of the heartthrob, then maybe my heart would win, too.
I hereby submit Scooty’s Molly-festo:
1. It is futile to compare your inside to another’s outside; we are all outsiders on the inside.
2. Even if it’s applying lipstick with your cleavage, take pride in your small accomplishments.
3. Don’t take the Ducky in your life for granted; true friendship will always outlast fleeting romance.
4. Face life’s little humiliations with a dramatic roll of the eyes and move on.
5. Bite your lip to bring clarity to confusion.
6. Never trust the pretty rich people; they really don’t care about you. No, really. Unless, of course, they are played by Molly.
7. Be open to inspiration from the most unlikely of sources, even the geek in braces.
8. When life hands you ugly pink fabric, make yourself a hideous dress and dance!
Thank you, John Hughes, for giving me Molly. (Scott Bradley)