An oddly appealing film: Sixteen Candles

Movie cast: Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, Paul Dooley, Justin Henry, Anthony Michael Hall

Movie Director: John Hughes

A convincing film even after more than three decades since its release, celebrates the story based on innocent teenage emotions and dreams set in United States of America in the 80’s by the director and writer John Hughes. It begins with a sixteenth birthday of Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) and how her whole family forgets about her birthday due to her elder sister’s wedding on the next day which leads to many mishaps. She is let down by her family and her publicly known high school crush. And just when she has left all the hopes, her wishes come true. That’s how predictable the story goes yet it’s satisfactory to watch till end.

A vintage styled movie poster of Sixteen Candles
Source: pinterest

This 1984 coming – of – age romantic comedy film has interesting and light- hearted characters that enhance the central theme of the movie. To mention a couple of them; the geeky freshman Ted (Anthony Michael Hall) who has crush on Samantha and repeatedly flirts with her in all the creepy ways till she rejects him, the eccentric foreign student named Long Duk Dong(Gedde Watanabe) who accompanies Samantha’s grandparents to her home and has more interest in partying. Her grandparents have came for attending her sister’s wedding and seizes her room while they stay at her home, sabotaging her privacy. Also the weird freshman students’ group lead by Ted added a shade to the raunchiness of high school teenage drama film.

It is a film that deals with the concepts like family and parental roles in a teen’s life, the teens that are confused with the idea of love and hook ups also their commitment towards the true love as a deep desire. A dialogue that stayed with me personally was when Samantha’s dad (Paul Dooley) comforts his daughter by saying, “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.” As she feels insecure about herself and abashes her feelings for a senior jock called Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling).

A still from Sixteen Candles. (Samantha Baker and Jack Ryan)
Source: commonsensemedia.org

Sixteen Candles proves that if rom-coms are handled with honesty and grace, they will always come through in the end, leaving you smiling wistfully and longingly. It is the first collaboration between Ringwald and director John Hughes. The film also marks Hughes’ directorial debut. But one of its comical characters, Long Duk Dong was criticised for “unfunny ethnic jokes.” Though it did well in box office performance in those times and also earned Young artist awards for Ringwald and Hall.

Well in the end, I can say that it’s a worth watch as it will ride you to a quirky adolescence life along with an absolute stunning and natural performance of Molly Ringwald. It is available on Netflix.

By, Khushali Thakar

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