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Sixteen Candles


We follow a girl named Samantha on her 16th birthday as she fantasizes about some stud from school but seems to only attire geeks. Scenes are set at places like class, the school bus, a party… The plot is kinda corny, yet really enjoyable. The predictable happy end actually make you grin with pleasure. But then, the film is edgier than that. The characters are real teens with flaws and all, and they’re all really well played. Molly Ringwald is downright fantastical, maybe because she must pretty much be a character in real life.

Writer-director John Hughes really nails the teenage girl character, and we really feel for Ringwald. She’s pissed off all film long, but who could blame her? No one in her family even remembered her birthday. Like she puts it colorfully in the opening, “I can’t believe it. They fucking forgot my birthday!” The stud is played quite well by Michael Schoeffling, while the geek is interpreted by, who else, Anthony Michael Hall! I have a weird admiration for this guy. He always plays these annoyingly stupid characters, but you can see that he’s in fact quite a bright kid. He’s just clumsy and nervous so everything messes up for him. It’s like, I’m sure that most guys will relate more to him than to Schoeffling’s part. Who cares about a rich jock who never fails? I dig Hall because he does make mistake. He’s human! He can’t get laid, but there is still hope. Like John Hughes put it in an interview, “A geek is a guy who has everything going for him, but he’s just too young.” According to this definition, I guess I was a geek myself in high school.

Hughes continues : “By contrast, a nerd will always be a nerd.” Hall’s character is followed by two losers who are really nerds. Get this, one of ‘em is played by a then 15 year old John Cusack! His sister Joan is also in the film, as the girl with the neck cast. It’s the knowledge of highschool life like this that makes Hughes’s films delightful. That and the whole ’80s feel, from the clothes and hairdos to the music. The only thing that bothers me is the tired slapstick that seldom comes up. In “16 Candles”, there’s too much screen time given to a subplot about Sam’s sister’s wedding, so you get those boring family humor scenes. But besides that, the film is a blast. I really recommend it to you guys.