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  • Dani Cipolla

I don't think I belong in here

Monday, May 25th, 2020

My apartment

New York City, NY 10009


"Excuse me, sir, I know it's detention and all but I don't think I belong...in here." -Claire Standish-

It is now day seventy-something of quarantine. I want to congratulate everyone for staying inside.  We have no idea how much longer we are stuck inside, so let's ponder some things--shall we? You may think constructively; you may think critically, and you may think both ways.

Dear John Hughs,


We can all feel a little bit of Claire's "but I don't think I belong in here" line at a time like this in the world; but sadly, we are stuck where we are for a little bit longer.

Claire Standish, The princess, Queen Molly Ringwald, herself.  Oh John, how you loved your redhead.  Making her the beauty of the '80s.  Your "Princess"...You introduce her to us in her father's BMW as she complains about having detention on Saturday (btw it's because she skipped school to go shopping. That's why!) It's obvious who the princess is, who Brian mentions in the beginning monologue.


Claire Standish has always irked me, but I appreciate what I learned from her.  Yes, she is the rich stuck-up girl, but she taught me a lot about myself just like every other character has in this movie.

I understand your princess so much more--and watching the movie 3 times a week for the last 26 years helps.  From being a cherry to being intrigued by the bad side, I've come to understand this girl who honestly would much rather be on a plane to France.


As I stated in my last letter about Andy, this movie has a lot to do with the pressures we are all under.  Claire is under pressure from her friends to look and act a certain way.  In the part where Claire explains her home life to Andy, Andy says: "You're just feeling sorry for yourself."  Claire says:  "Yeah, well if I didn't, nobody else would."


This part shows so much of Claire's character; how she really lives.  Why would no one feel sorry for her?  I didn't realize this until I got older.  Claire is the rich, popular girl.  Why feel bad for her--she has everything. Right?  The world would say, right; but you would say, wrong--and even I agree.  I also have been caught saying I rather cry in a Ferrari than in a Volkswagen; but money doesn't buy happiness.  Claire proves this.  Her parents, with all their money, spoil her.  They use her to torment each other.  So, yes, Claire's life looks like the amazing Instagram Page people love these days because she has to act in this manner to keep her popularity. However, on the flip side of the picture is mental instability, manipulation, and distraction.  Am I right?  Once you see the other side of her life, you begin to understand why Claire says this.

"You ought to spend less time trying to impress people.  You might be better off."

One would say this is just a quote meant for Bender.  But I saw Claire's head go down just as Vernon finishes this statement. One can see the quote hit her and resonate.  She constantly tries to impress people; not caring how or what she has to do or how she acts.  This is evidenced by her intrigue of the "bad side;" how Bender is leading the room and she wants to participate, but has to be bad in order to do so.

Now with that being said, let's fast-forward to the circle. This is where you really teach us who the characters are because we all know this part was ad-libbed by the actors.  Molly Ringwald embodies who she believes Claire truly is.  You guided these actors to this part with their characters, and then you told them to set sail. (Side note: The actors did a great freakin' job!)


Molly Ringwald, I believe, nailed Claire--a tease who is blunt, snobby, and not changing.  The scene starts with Claire asking if Andrew would get out of the car naked, in front of the school.  This leads to the scene with Allison I spoke about previously.  We learn Claire is a tease and a virgin.  It's funny to see a girl so blunt with others about everything else in life but tries to hide this thing that is so personal to her.  I think we can all relate to this. Towards the end of the scene, you see her blunt and rich side exposed.  Brian asks everyone if they would all be friends come Monday morning, and Claire told him the truth.  This is what we as an audience were waiting for--still to this day some people just want to know what happens.  But we know what happens--you told us.  Well, Claire told us.  They aren't friends.  Maybe Allison and Brian, obviously, cuz they are the weirdos, and Claire and Andy were already friendly.  But as a group--never outside that day.


Though one can respect Claire for her honesty it's still unsettling to see the truth laid out. Especially, when it's from the person stating she is going to stay the same spoiled brat she is because she won't be embarrassed.  At first Andrew denies it.  With all he learned, why wouldn't he? We all would.  Then Claire lays it out. That even though we are a bit of each stereotype, popular is popular; Benders will be Benders, and weirdos will not intertwine.

Claire taught me that we all want a little popularity; that we all have done things of which we are not proud in order to be or to get a little bit of recognition. Growing up I still wouldn't be able to categorize myself as I believe I've previously told you.  This movie taught me a lot about "the stereotypes". I was that girl who was cool with someone from each click.  I didn't really have my own group; I was chill with all of them.  But as I got older things changed.  High school was over and the real world began; and in the real world the "Princess" still applies.  My entire modeling career was acting like the "Princess."  I changed my diet ten times over; had an eating disorder; chopped off my hair; dressed up for events; and so much more just be a part of that profession.


Each character you created continues to teach me about myself in many different ways--through all the cycles of life. Claire has taught me we all have that part in us---that "Princess."


Sincerely yours,

Dani

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