Sixteen Candles explores the trials and tribulations of a young girl turning sixteen, dealing with the unwanted, amorous attentions of a nerdy freshman, her terrible crush on a hunky senior, and her distracted, and sometimes annoying family.
Written and directed by John Hughes.
The cast includes: Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, Paul Dooley, Carlin Glynn, Blanche Baker, Justin Henry, Anthony Michael Hall, Brian Doyle-Murray, Haviland Morris, with both John and Joan Cusack, in minor roles.
Tagline: It’s the time of your life that may last a lifetime.
Described as a coming-of-age, warmhearted, teenage comedy, that take us through a few days in the life of teenage 10th grader, Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald), around her sixteenth birthday. In a humorous fashion, it explores the personal woes of Samantha, who so looked forward to becoming sixteen. Her special day doesn’t start off so well. Unfortunately, her birthday falls on the day before her older sister’s wedding, and everyone in her family, including both sets of grandparents, forget her birthday, so consumed with wedding angst and preparation are they.
On the home front, besides enduring the hurt of being forgotten, she also has to endure her spoiled siblings (Justin Henry and Blanch Baker), distracted parents (Paul Dooley and Carlin Glynn), and both sets of eccentric grandparents, and a weird, Japanese exchange student (Gedde Watanabe) who is staying with one set of the grandparents, played by veteran character actors (Edward Andrews, Billie Bird). Teens watching this movie count their lucky stars, realizing that their parents, siblings and relatives aren’t this forgetful, annoying,and embarrassing.
At school, Samantha is suffering from a terrible crush on a handsome, senior boy, Jake (Michael Schoeffling), who doesn’t know, she thinks, that she is alive, and is already taken by a gorgeous, well-endowed, popular senior blonde. At the same time, much to her annoyance, she finds herself the subject of the clumsy, pushy, amorous attention, of a geeky freshman (Anthony Michael Hill), who desires to be a ninth grade stud muffin, envied by all the other ninth grade boys.
The talented John Hughes wrote and directed this hilarious screenplay. Such teenage trials, woes, and tribulations are woven into a hilariously clever script, offering an entertaining, “sparkly” comedic masterpiece, with twists, turns and surprises. Comedy in this movie is based on comedic timing, a clever, well-paced, imaginative script, great direction and a great cast that works well together; not as much focus on crude jokes, bad language, and sexual situations found in some of today’s teen comedies.
Molly Ringwald really captures the role of Samantha, and carries the movie nicely. Anthony Michael Hill does a convincing job portraying an enterprising freshman geek who wants to be admired for being the studmuffin of the freshman class. Hill uses his talent to portray a go-getter who turns out to be a good friend to Samantha.
Max Showalter, as Grandpa Fred, Carol Cook, as Grandma Helen, Edward Andrews as Grandpa Howard, and Billie Bird as Grandma Dorothy, did a wonderful job and had a great time playing the amusing, annoying, embarrassing grandparents of Samantha, who come to stay in the Baker House for the wedding. All these great character actors and actresses bring their years of experience to their performances and add a lot to the story.