a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Sixteen Candles (1984), starring Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Michael Shoeffling.
Per IMDb: “A girl’s ‘sweet’ sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.”
From one ridiculous absurdity to another, Samantha’s (Ringwald) sixteenth birthday is everything she wants it not to be. Her parents forget her birthday, a note meant to be a secret falls into the hands of the one person she doesn’t want it to, her grandparents getting her room while everyone is in for her sister’s wedding and her other grandparents feeling up her “brand new boobies.” What could be better, right?
Sam spends the film avoiding Jake (Shoeffling), the boy she’s really into and skirting around Farmer Ted (Hall) and his adolescent advances. It’s typical John Hughes and it’s quite entertaining. To find out if Farmer Ted or even Sam get what they’re looking for, or something else or more, you’ll have to watch.
As I said, this film is what we know of John Hughes. It was John Hughes and it is John Hughes. It wasn’t his first screenplay but it was the first film he directed and he only directed eight, but wrote a slew of them. Molly Ringwald was sixteen when the film came out. So, they had that right. It’s very predictable but very fun to watch. It’s perhaps predictable because this is one of the films that set the pace for this genre, this “coming of age” type film; the “we get how teenagers work” type, even. I meant it when I said absurdity, there was plenty of that in the film, but it showed, too that Hughes doesn’t take himself too seriously.
One thing that I have always liked about John Hughes films is the soundtracks. While not as prolific as some other Hughes films, this one has a really good soundtrack. Tunes such as “Rebel Yell” from Billy Idol, “Rumours in the Air” from Night Ranger, “True” from Spandau Ballet, “Wild Sex in the Working Class” by Oingo Boingo and “Turning Japanese” from The Vapors are all included here as is “Young Americans” from Bowie and a few TV and movie themes like “Peter Gunn” and “The Godfather.” Hughes uses music to help tell his story, not just as background filler. That’s a trademark of his, I believe.
Rotten Tomatoes has the film rated at 86% Fresh with an Audience Score of 85%. IMDb has it at 7.2 stars out of 10. It’s certainly not my favorite John Hughes film but he does a great job with it, it was witty and fun. You can see this streaming on Netflix. I do recommend you see it if you haven’t, but keep in mind that it’s not going overboard on the serious side. I rate it 4.25 stars. Have you seen it? Do you agree with me? What would like to read and hear me review?
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“What’s happenin’, hot stuff?” – Long Duk Dong