Sixteen Candles 1984

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles 1984Starring: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Justin Henry, Gedde Watanabe, Michael Schoeffling

Directed By: John Hughes

Written By: John Hughes

Rating: R PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 33 min

Two Cents:

Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald), contends with the pain of unrequited love and turning sweet sixteen in John Hughes’ goofy yet charming coming of age story. A film that delivers the usual set of 80’s teen movie tropes; the dance, the party, nerd jokes, and plenty of alcohol. But also treats its lead protagonist’s with respect, while delivering really memorable dialog and great moments of humor.

So while the ‘Geek’ (Anthony Michael Hall) makes an absolute fool of himself, we learn his actions are just an exaggerated depiction of his difficulty with adolescence. Played to great comic effect for sure, but done in such a way to prevent the character becoming another mindless sex crazed dweeb – something we’ve seen in so many other less developed teen comedies.

The same goes for Samantha. She’s not just a boy crazed shallow high school student. She’s real, unsure and shy. Awkwardly navigating her way through a couple of hectic days with her family as they celebrate her sisters wedding. Her needs are honest, and the relationship with her parents is that of a typical teenager, and not overblown and contrived into something unnatural.

Molly Ringwald does a great job of presenting a relatable character the audience can root for. As does Anthony Michael Hall, and though this movie is primarily told from Samantha’s point of view, everyone watching Sixteen Candles should be able to relate to these characters. Irregardless of gender, or decade they were born in.

Movie Prep:

This is a classic 80’s teen romantic comedy, but it has a softer side too. The film’s inclusion of the Asian exchange student, Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe), as a sex crazed party animal, might offend some people. The movie is rated R for language, alcohol use and brief nudity.

Best Format:

This movie isn’t big on flashy visuals, so a regular dvd or blu-ray on your TV at home will service this film well enough. This movie would be fun to watch with a group of people nostalgic for 80’s cinema.

Best Moment:

Near the beginning of the film, Samantha is in class, filling out a friends questionnaire about sex. The next question on the paper asks who she would like to have sex with, so she slowly turns her head to stare at Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling). He notices and she panics, but manages to play it off like she’s got an itchy cheek, and slowly turns away.

References: IMDB


  1. wpadmin

    I see, thanks, corrected (in such a way to reflect the online debate about this particular film’s rating). I can’t remember where I got the R info. I usually refer to IMDB, but they have the film listed as PG.

  2. MrHadouken

    This movie is actually rated PG, according to the movie poster…

    It was originally going to be rated R, though…

  3. Lolita

    How do I love this movie? Let me count the ways….My friends and I still quote this movie (yes, we are normal, gainfully employed, well adjusted adults.) Brilliant lines are just that…brilliant…and transcend time. I was shocked at how many lines I remembered from this film. So we all pretty much had a thing for Jake at the time, but after a recent viewing, I must admit Anthony Michael Hall’s character was the far more intriguing one. I couldn’t help but think..yeah…he owns his own computer software company or made a fortune on a start up or something. The music, fashion, dialog, humor, angst, & ending all blend together (like one of those hard core 80’s cocktails) to create 1:33 minutes of perfection….

  4. Angie-00

    I love John Hughes movies. I think this is good, but not his best work. It does not mean I don’t enjoy it, it is a fab movie. I think it has just the right balance of humor and drama. Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were both suited to playing these types of roles. It would be great to see what you thought of the other John Hughes movies. My favourite is The Breakfast Club.

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