Molly Ringwald became a teenage Hollywood icon in the 1980s, starring in John Hughes' classic movies including "The Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink," and "Sixteen Candles." But in "All These Small Moments," her new movie out in theaters Thursday, Ringwald plays quite a different role — a mother in an unhappy marriage.
"To me, she was really exciting to play because she was real. I've played a lot of moms. I am a mom. I know what that's like, and this is a mom who's in crisis," Ringwald said. "Her marriage is falling apart, she loves her kids, but you know, frankly, it's hard to get out of bed in the morning."
"I think we've all been there at different moments in our life," she added.
All the characters are flawed, but there is no villain, Ringwald said.
"There are people who, you know, they treat each other badly. The husband's betraying the wife. This person is betraying that person. But that's just real life. It's so, to me, it's so perfectly named," she said.
These vulnerable moments could be meaningful to wider audience like teens.
"There're so many teenagers who have parents that are at war or divorced. And you know, I think that it's really wonderful to have that shock of recognition and see other families that are going through the same things," Ringwald said.
Last April, the actress wrote a New Yorker article reflecting on "The Breakfast Club" and her other films in the context of today's #MeToo movement. "If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes," Ringwald wrote.
She said certain scenes "really bothered" her, not only with the John Bender character peeking under his skirt, but also how he rails against her character when he is rejected.
"That's a little problematic. Because at the end, you're really happy to see us together. And there's no mention, really, about that behavior," Ringwald said, adding that by no means is she denouncing the films.
"I just feel like it's a conversation. I feel like times have changed. And I want people to still look at them and still realize the way things were at a time and kind of have a conversation about it and move on," she said.
"All These Small Moments" opens in theaters Thursday, Jan. 17. It will also be available on demand and digital on Friday.