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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Sixteen Candles
Directed by John Hughes
Universal Studios Home Video 05/84 DVD/VHS Feature Film

Samantha (Molly Ringwald) wakes up in her suburban bedroom and hopes for some blooming. After all, it's her sixteenth birthday. That's special, isn't it? But instead, all she gets is blight. Her busy parents have forgotten her birthday; all their energies have gone into the upcoming wedding of their eldest daughter Ginny (Blanche Baker).

At school, sophomore Samantha continues to pine after handsome senior Jake (Michael Schoeffling) who doesn't even acknowledge her existence. He is dating the most popular girl (Haviland Morris) in his class.

To complicate matters, Geek (Anthony Michael Hall), a cocky freshman, has gone gaga over Samantha and is determined to make it with her. The two meet at a dance and he tells her, "I've never bagged a babe." Samantha is not impressed.

Sixteen Candles is directed by John Hughes who wrote the funny screenplays for Mr. Mom and National Lampoon's Vacation. He has a keen eye for the foibles, inner torments, and social embarassments of the adolescent period. The screenplay contains a batch of hilarious slapstick sequences and one very unlaughable house trashing.

Samantha's father (Paul Dooley) learns of her unrequited feelings for Jack and tells his daughter that teen crushes are called that because they hurt. Molly Ringwald does a credible job conveying the peculiar anxiety of a sensitive sixteen-year-old, and Anthony Michael Hall as Geek is a Geiger counter of teen tics, confused sexual signals, and nervous energy. Sixteen Candles is a cut above other recent entries in the very crowded teen comedy movie genre.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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