Molly Ringwald wrote a novel. Andrew McCarthy has just published a travel memoir. It seems inevitable to me that Duckie (or, as he probably prefers, Jon Cryer) will shortly follow suit with his own literary achievement. And I have an almost frighteningly clear premonition of how he will join the highbrow ranks of his Pretty in Pink co-stars.
It is my long-held belief that the "actors" in John Hughes' films always played themselves. How is Molly Ringwald any different from Andie — or, for that matter, Samantha (Sixteen Candles) or Claire (The Breakfast Club)? How is Andrew McCarthy, in the core of his being, distinguishable from Blane? And what has Jon Cryer been for the past however many years onTwo and a Half Men anything other than Charlie Sheen’s underappreciated, sensitive sidekick? I’ve never even seen that show, but I know Jon Cryer, essentially, is yearning and gets dumped on and continues to yearn and show up and be loyal and get dumped on. Pure Duckie.
And if the smart, pretty, kinda weird girl grows up to write sensitive family shit about flaws making us human, and the kinda dark misunderstood loner with abundant privilege anxious to truly connect with someone writes a memoir about travelling alone to reconnect with his fiancée, then Duckie gets to have his say, too.
So what better medium for an unloved, unwanted but loyal sidekick than science fiction? What better medium is there for Duckie to demonstrate the extent of his yearning than the imagining of impossible worlds? The effort alone will be pathetic: he’ll seem as though he’s trying to latch on to the sci-fi craze, and he’ll likely compare himself to Colson Whitehead. It will be so embarrassing for him and he will be so very earnest. And we will be touched, but more than that we will be embarrassed and quietly judgmental and feel so deeply relieved that we have not yet embarrassed ourselves so devastatingly as Duckie.
I dare Jon Cryer to prove me wrong on this one. Tell me honestly he hasn't seriously considered writing sci-fi. I think the publication of such a book is almost impossible to resist. It's a force of nature, an inevitability of the future John Hughes so painstakingly laid the foundation for. It would also be such an embarrassing catastrophe. I long for it to exist in the world.