"Sixteen Candles" (1984)

Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes
In Theatres: Jan 1, 1984
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: MCA Universal Home Video

With the occasion overshadowed by her sister's upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with typical adolescent dread. Samantha pines for handsome older boy Jake (Michael Schoeffling), but worries that her chastity will be a turnoff for the popular senior. Meanwhile, Samantha must constantly rebuff the affections of nerdy Ted (Anthony Michael Hall), the only boy in the school, unfortunately, who seems to take an interest in her.

It happens to be my brother's birthday this week. Still another year before he can refer to the movie's title, but I thought I'd review Sweet Sixteen in spirit of the occasion nonetheless!

This was John Hughes' first directorial film. And he certainly made an entrance with this one! Even more impressive to think he wrote over a weekend. It's a great 80s film. It’s very funny. A little immaturely so, and sometimes a bit racist for nowadays (remember, Long Duk Dong, anyone?) …But it’s great and I love it. 

The music used is whacky in parts. The editing overall is whacky – in a good way of course! It’s slightly crude but very quirky. It all adds to the humour! 

Molly Ringwald is great, this character type suits her down to the ground. Any of the scenes that involve her with her grandparents who have come to stay with her are very, very funny. I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen a sixteen year old girl? Everyone forgetting her birthday - she's understandably up in arms about it. And the overbearing relatives taking over her room is not a help to the matter! John Hughes apparently wrote the role of Samantha with Molly Ringwald in mind. After he received a head-shot of her it inspired him to write the movie! Well, how about that! She was fifteen when the film was being shot. So was Anthony Michael Hall. 

Michael Schoeffling is fine; I have never liked his character despite the fact he’s the object of everyone’s affections – but honestly, he’s kind of an asshole. I mean, he decided it was acceptable to pursue Samantha once he had a hunch she fancied him, despite already having a girlfriend, and on that note, he seemed to harbour little to no respect for her. I’m sorry now but these are not the desired traits for an intended swoon-worthy lead-man. Some of the things, I’ve always wondered if they were supposed to be acceptable when this film came out. Surely not! 

Anthony Michael Hall owns his role completely as poor Ted. I love his confidence, God love him. The scene when he shows off his “success” in retrieving Samantha’s underwear (she gave them to him as a kind favour in gratitude) to other students in the school in the bathroom is sure to crack a smile. John Hughes was apparently so impressed with Anthony Michael Hall's performance in the film "National Lampoon's Vacation" (which John Hughes had also written previously), that he wrote the character of Ted with Anthony Michael Hall in mind. 

A very young John Cusack actually plays one of Ted's partners in crime. His sister, Joan Cusack also plays a role: that of the nerdy girl. This is the second movie where the siblings are both in together. They would later go onto act together in such films as "Say Anything" (1989), "Grosse Pointe Blank" (1997), and "High Fidelity" (2000) among others. 

It wasn't until the film was released on VHS that it became a real hit. 

I recommend this movie very much. Really enjoyable with some few quotable one-liners. 

Final Rating: 3/5 Stars