Thursday, May 8, 2014

Guitly Pleasure Pick: Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this week (eh, that makes me old ...) and it's another one that basically* holds up after all this time. It masquerades as a romance, but at the heart it's a coming of age story set in high school (this is a John Hughes movie after all).

Sam (Molly Ringwald) is soon to turn sixteen, but that milestone is overshadowed by her older sister's impending wedding, the arrival of extended family, and the arrival of a foreign exchange student. While all of these external forces are swirling, Sam is faced with the usual high school social pressures, and, of course, her first major crush Jake (Michael Schoeffling) - who's a popular Senior. Oh, and she's got a nerd (played by a baby-faced Anthony Michael Hall) that has a crush on her. Bonus: John Cusak has bit part as a nerd friend of Anthony Michael Hall. 

Sixteen Candles is lighter and funnier than the other main Molly Ringwald/John Hughes movies such as Pretty in Pink and Breakfast Club. I find Ringwald to be her most likeable in this film. There are many quotable lines and situational humor - the bantering between Sam and her siblings is quite realistic from my experience. I also enjoy Paul Dooley who plays Sam's father - their close relationship is a nice detail.

*The main problem it faces is the characterization of the foreign exchange student Long Duk Dong (played by Gedde Watanabe). At least the Asian character is played by an Asian-American actor (unlike Breakfast at Tiffany's).

Sixteen Candles
Find it in the catalog!