Blind Spot 2012 Review: Sixteen Candles
What We ThoughtGenre: Romantic Comedy
What We Liked :Molly Ringwald shines as Samantha Battle on stereotypes
What We Disliked:Some of the characters are too painful to watch
Sixteen Candles may always be considered a ‘girly film’, but it does an excellent job of balancing romance and comedy.
John Hughes has a long history of classic films. His résumé includes films such as Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, Weird Science, and The Breakfast Club among others. One film of his that has always been outside my radar was Sixteen Candles. Whether it was because of the sappy title or the implied romantic comedy elements it never occurred to me to give it a view. If there’s something that can be said about Sixteen Candles, it’s that Molly Ringwald peaked when she was 16.
Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) is ready to celebrate her 16th birthday. The only problem is that her sister is expected to get married tomorrow and everyone has forgotten her birthday. At school she has the hots for senior Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) who doesn’t even know she exists. Being cast aside by her family and overlooked by the man of her dreams, Samantha must deal with a difficult day.
Later on at school, Samantha decides to go to the dance. Once there she is constantly pursued by The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall), who obsessively wants Sam for his own. Meanwhile, Jake is having his own problems with his prom queen girlfriend, Caroline (Haviland Morris). Will Samantha ever get Jake to notice her?
Sixteen Candles is another film in a long lineage of classic teen comedies. What makes John Hughes films more special than most is his ability to draw true emotion from his young actors. Molly Ringwald would appear in two other films with John Hughes at the helm, but ended with a lackluster career without his direction. Her performance in Sixteen Candles however is spot on. Her character Samantha knows how the dating game is played and loses hope because she feels Jake is out of her league.
The film decides to focus a lot of attention on shattering stereotypes. It’s painfully obvious how each character should play out in the first act of Sixteen Candles. The Chinese exchange student constantly is referenced in Japanese terms, the prom queen is a total bitch, and the high-school heart-throb can’t be seem with anyone less than the best. Then it gets turned upside down. Almost every character is redeemed in some fashion by the end of Sixteen Candles.
There have been countless films that have attempted to capture the same essence of a coming-of-age film that Sixteen Candles manages so well. The performances portray what it’s like living at that age and screams the fashion and culture of the era. Sixteen Candles may always be considered a ‘girly film’, but it does an excellent job of balancing romance and comedy.