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Blind Spot 2012 Review: Sixteen Candles

Posted February 29, 2012 by in Romantic Comedy







Musical Score

Total Score

78/ 100

What We Thought

Actors: , ,

What We Liked :

Molly Ringwald shines as Samantha Battle on stereotypes

What We Disliked:

Some of the characters are too painful to watch
Bottom Line

Sixteen Candles may always be considered a ‘girly film’, but it does an excellent job of balancing romance and comedy.

by Max
Full Article

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.

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About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.



    Oh, Sixteen Candles, a classic 80s movie and I love it! The male lead is very cute, indeed, and Molly is perfect for that era, I like her a lot!


      I actually thought the male lead was going to be evil in the end. There's no way he could be legit. Molly is the 80's 'it' girl. That's the beginning and end of her career in acting.


    I love John Hughes films! I recently watched Easy A and I think Emma Stone's character captures my thoughts perfectly when she said that she wished John Hughes directed her life.

    I haven't seen this film in the best part of 10 years so think it's time I take another look at it!


      Easy A would classify in that same John Hughes film universe. It's a great film that shows off the acting range of Emma Stone. I want to watch Breakfast Club again.


    I've always been hesitant to approach any of John Hughes' films. Sixteen Candles is no exception. However, I have always read good things about some of his films, which I also get from your article. Maybe I should attempt to cover my blind spots regarding Hughes' films.

    Good read !



      I'd recommend 'Breakfast Club' first. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. If you are though, I'm not responsible.


    Man, it has been ages since I saw Sixteen Candles. It's a very fun movie, even if it caters toward the romance side. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Max!


      I'm a little tired of romance movies after February. I'll be looking to get away from focusing on them so much. This was fun though.


    Sixteen Candles is my blindspot in the filmography of John Hughes.

    Great write up Max.


      You should check it out.The name of the movies kept me away for the longest time (see: The Princess Bride), but like the aforementioned movie Sixteen Candles did delight.


    I have been meaning to watch this ever since I saw Breakfast Club a couple years ago, and I love Molly Ringwald in it. Thanks for reminding me and sharing your views!


      Molly Ringwald didn't have much of a career, but the movies she was good in, she showed a lot of range. You'd probably enjoy this.


    This with Weird Science and The Breakfast Club – my favourite John Hughes films. I think Sixteen Candles has a great sense of humour about it and I love the characters.


    Count me in as another who is a fan of this one. It was of my John Hughes set that I can re-watch without issue.

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