Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
The movies of Molly Ringwald have been responsible for a revolution in the way Hollywood regards teenagers. Before Ringwald (and her mentor, John Hughes) there were only horny teenagers, dead teenagers, teenage vampires and psychotic crackups. Now teenage movies are working their way through some of the aspects of the normal life of American teenagers, and in “For Keeps,” Ringwald plays a popular high school senior who gets pregnant and gets married.
Because she is Ringwald, and because this is a movie, her experience of these adventures is probably a good deal more pleasant than the average American teenage girl could look forward to. There is a line in the movie that could apply to the movie itself, when a high school teacher asks the very pregnant Ringwald to drop out of school and take night classes because she’s so popular that other girls might want to imitate her.
If the movie lacks something, it is a sense of the shame and suffering a pregnant high school senior might undergo. Ringwald seems too well-adjusted, too resilient. And yet there is a certain bottom line of honesty in this movie, and if it is about the joy of young love, it is also about the pressures of young responsibility (I hope impressionable teenage viewers will devote careful attention to the scenes where Ringwald is stuck in her walk-up apartment, while her young husband is out with his buddies).
In the film, Ringwald and her boyfriend, Randall Batinkoff, begin to sleep together and almost immediately have to face the pregnancy. In a plot that centers on national holidays, she blurts out the news at Thanksgiving and they decide to get married at Christmas. Both of these decisions are met with varying degrees of horror by their parents - Miriam Flynn, Ringwald’s divorced and bitter mother, and Kenneth Mars and Conchata Ferrell as Batinkoff’s loving, conventional parents.