Molly Ringwald has a new book out. It’s called Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family and Finding the Perfect Lipstick and though I haven’t read it the title alone kinda triggers my gag reflex. But she’s Molly Ringwald! Samantha Baker! Claire Standish! I will love her till the day I die so I don’t really care what she’s shilling, if Molly Ringwald is making an appearance, I will be there. Which is exactly what drew me (and seemingly everyone else at the bookstore) to the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca last night where the ’80s icon had a reading. And here’s the thing, her book may be about feeling good in your 40s (which I am approximately eight years away from) but Molly Ringwald is still so, I don’t know, totally Molly, that even the stories she read about giving her friends dating advice (“guys like mystery!”) and feeling ugly during her first pregnancy (“my daughter sucked the pretty right out of me”) were endearingly entertaining. And I’ll admit, I think it’s kinda brave for a woman who will forever be frozen as an adorable teenager in the hearts and minds of just about everybody, to tackle what it means to grow up and out of society’s definition of “pretty,” and to continue redefining it as that stereotyped identity gets farther and farther away. I’ll take it, even if it comes in a self-helpy, “you go, girlfriend” package.
Afterward Molly took questions from the crowd and while a few pertained to her book (which she said has nine chapters in a nod to J.D. Salinger…?) just as many were about being John Hughes’ muse and which of his movies was her favorite (seriously, this question got asked TWICE. The first time she said they all blend together. The second time she answered with The Breakfast Club.). But she did drop one choice tidbit about Sixteen Candles: Did you know that the other actor up for the role of Jake Ryan (aka, the boy of my pre-teen daydreams) was Viggo my-middle-name-should-be-badass Mortensen?!? I’m glad that didn’t work out. The fact that I never saw Jake Ryan in any other movie fuels my fantasy that he really exists. I left with the Thompson Twins’ “If You Were Here” playing in my head and the desperate desire for a John Hughes slumber party movie marathon. I think Molly will always have that effect, no matter how many advice books she writes.