Molly Ringwald's opinion on her classic movies of the 1980s has evolved again. Not so much for herself, but because she's a mom of three — including adolescent twins.
Ringwald, who's mom to Mathilda, 17, and Roman and Adele, 12, has been open about how her perception of her early films (the John Hughes trio of "Sixteen Candles," 1984; "The Breakfast Club," 1985; and "Pretty In Pink," 1986) has shifted now that she has kids. In 2016, she told TODAY about letting Mathilda check out those films, and was delighted to see how the young lady "connected" with them.
But during a SiriusXM "Radio Andy" chat with Andy Cohen on Wednesday, she noted that those films don't sit well with a "woke" generation that includes her twins.
"It definitely is a different time," she says, and refers to a New Yorker essay she wrote in 2018 about sharing the films. "People ask me if I've watched them with my kids, and I did watch the first one — which was the impetus to write that article — with Mathilda. And it was such an emotional experience that I haven't found that strength to watch it with my two other kids."
Part of the reason is that her daughter is pretty "woke," as she puts it. "My 12-year-old daughter, Adele, is the most woke individual that you've ever met, and I just don't know how I'm going to go through that, you know, watching it with her and (her) saying, 'How could you do that? How could you be part of something that....' "
Maybe she'll share with the twins the idea of gray areas in art. Ringwald has been a cheerleader for her past films before, even if she's taking new views in recent years. In 2015, she told TODAY, "I always loved the script, loved the movie, but I never imagined we would be talking about it 30 years later. I never imagined it would still speak to my kids. ... I feel like it keeps speaking to generation after generation."
But a year later, in light of the #MeToo movement, she was more careful about her enthusiasm. Some of her films make light of things that are taken much more seriously these days, from rape to assault and straight up racism.
"What was acceptable then is definitely not acceptable now and nor should it have been then," she told NPR over at the time. "I feel very differently about the movies now and it's a difficult position for me to be in because there's a lot that I like about them."
These days, as she told Cohen, she knows there are "troubling" elements, but can see what works about the films being a positive, too. "They're also about people that felt like outsiders. They speak to a lot of people. They're complicated. I feel like that's what makes the movies really wonderful."
Nor does she want them to disappear. "I'm proud of those movies, and I have a lot of affection for them," says Ringwald. "They are so much a part of me."