Fave Film #47 – Sixteen Candles


Cast – Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Schoeffling

Written & Directed by John Hughes

The enormously talented John Hughes died yesterday at the age of 59.  He wrote and directed many of the movies that shaped my youth.  At least four of his movies appear on my Top 100 list and Jason and I chose to watch one last night.

Samantha Bakes turns 16 and no one in her family remembers because they are all caught up in her sister’s upcoming wedding.  Samantha is bitter and her day gets worse when she is dogged by a geek on the bus and at the school dance.  She pines for the school heartthrob, Jake Ryan, and he begins to notice her too. 

Why I love it – This movie is pure 80’s.  The cliques, the angst, the non tech world, all work for a glimpse of the day.  And the day was a lot less politically correct than it is today.  It was funny to see just how much our vocabulary and awareness has changed in the 20 years since I was in high school (I cannot believe it has been 20 years!).

Molly Ringwald was wonderful in this movie.  What girl hasn’t loved a boy from afar?  Her vulnerability and lack of self-confidence was spot on.  As hot as Jake Ryan was I always thought that she could do better.  I hope she dated him, dumped him, and found a guy who appreciated her.  But that’s just me.

And I have a great appreciation for Anthony Michael Hall in this role.  He made us laugh every time he was on screen, which was often.  King of the Dipshits, indeed.  And let’s not forget Long Duck Dong and his scene stealing.  Molly Ringwald was the heart of this movie and these two were the entertainment.

Here’s the short trailer for the movie.  Take a few minutes and relieve high school and appreciate the genius of John Hughes.

11 thoughts on “Fave Film #47 – Sixteen Candles

  1. Mary says:

    One of my favorite movies! Love everything about it. And the fact that my kids love it is great. We own it on dvd. I’ll miss John Hughes.

  2. Kathy says:

    How sad that John Hughes passed away but what a wonderful legacy he leaves!

    My daughter watches Hannah Montaba and there’s a “heartthrob” named Jake Ryan in it. I’m convinced that is not a coincidence. I’m sure one of the writers, creators, producers etc used that name in homage to the original Jake Ryan in Sixteen candles :o)

  3. Margot says:

    This was a favorite movie of my two daughters when they were in their teens. They, too, plotted how Samantha would throw Jason over. I think it involved the geek who goes on to become some millionaire business owner and Jake becoming fat and bald. My favorites in the movie were the grandparents. I’m going to have to watch it again to see if, now that we are grandparents, we are living up to the required wackiness.

    The grandparents were wonderfully wacky and I should have mentioned them! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought Samantha could do better than Jake 🙂

  4. candice says:

    Thank you for this! I have watched 16 candles more than I care to admit. I still find Jake Ryan kind of dreamy, and the music ALWAYS gets me (even if it is “dated”). I enjoy your blog & this is my first comment. I’m one of Margot’s daughters, and I found you through her blog.

  5. Staci says:

    I loved this movie too. In fact, I will stop, drop everything and watch this everytime it comes on and I still find myself swooning over Jake…I’m 40 for goodness sakes!!!!!! Hughes had a HUGE impact on my teen years and what I liked to listen to music wise. I don’t think he made a movie that I didn’t relate to in some way.

  6. Heather says:

    ah, yes. Sixteen candles! teen angst and all of that. just but my copy of sixteen candles! can’t resist the hughes movies! Thanks for your review!!!!

  7. Marie Burton says:

    A great film! I actually saw this last Saturday night when I should have been sleeping, how weird is that?
    Remember the weird chinese guy the grandparents’ ‘adopted?
    I had forgotten about the fun scenes like the Underwear in the Bathroom Viewing..

  8. Jennygirl says:

    This is one of my favs too. All of the characters were priceless! The sister’s in-laws…omg! The grandparents, the dorks, Hughes portrayed everything perfectly!

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