It's the Time of Your Life That May Last a Lifetime.
"...filmmaker John Hughes offers moments of wit and warmth. David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
|It's Samantha Baker's Sweet Sixteen and no one in her family remembers the important occasion. John Hughes, the writer of National Lampoon's Vacation, shows how coming-of-age can be full of surprises in this warm hearted teenage comedy starring Molly Ringwald.|
She's your average teen, enduring creepy freshmen, spoiled siblings, confused parents and the Big Blonde on Campus who stands between her and the boy of her dreams. But wait...the day isn't over yet! This sparkling film features a dynamic score, and outstanding performances by Paul Dooley, Emmy winner Blanche Baker and Oscar nominee Justin Henry.
"Hall is very funny as the energetic adolescent pest and a good supporting cast includes the Cusack sibings John and Joan. Empire
"Molly Ringwald is radiant here as the eternal teen looking for love. Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"...a fresh and cheerful movie with a goofy sense of humor and a good ear for how teenagers talk. Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"...funny gags and excellent performances by Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. TV Guide
"Ringwald is engaging and credible. For the boys, there's a bright, funny performance by Anthony Michael Hall. Variety
"Hilarious comedy of errors... VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever
Teen angst abounds in this classic comedy written and directed by John Hughes. Samantha Baker's (Molly Ringwald) 16th birthday should be perfect and memorable. Unfortunately, her whole family is preoccupied with her sister's impending wedding and completely forgets Samantha's big day. To add insult to injury, the school geek (Anthony Michael Hall) won't stop hitting on her, she has to bring a foreign exchange student (Gedde Watanabe) with her to the school dance, her visiting grandparents have taken over her bedroom, and she's sure that the boy of her dreams (Michael Schoeffling) doesn't know that she exists. Hughes's script captures the range of teenage emotions, from embarrassment to peer pressure to the pangs of puppy love, with humor and honesty. Hall is memorable as the Geek, and Schoeffling is perfect as the boy of Sam's dreams. A young John Cusack makes his second feature-film appearance as the geek's friend, Bryce, while sister Joan Cusack appears as Geek Girl #1. Ringwald's reign as the queen of 1980s teen flicks began with this film, which was Hughes's directorial debut and the first in his stream of successful teen films (THE BREAKFAST CLUB, FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF).
Cast & Crew
How could Samantha's life get any worse? Her annoyingly beautiful sister's going to marry a sleazy hunk, both sets of grandparents are spending the weekend in her home, and the boy of her dreams doesn't know her from Adam. But yes--things can go downhill even from there, because Samantha's preoccupied parents have managed to forget her birthday. Still, maybe something will come along to save the day...
From the mad morning bus ride to school to the outrage of gym class to the tragedy of not receiving an invitation to the big dance, SIXTEEN CANDLES charmingly and realistically captures the world of a typical angst-ridden suburban teen.
|"C'mon, you know you're the one I wanna bug!"----the Geek (Anthony Michael Hall) to Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald)
|"Nice manners, babe!"--the Geek to Randy (Liane Curtis)
New York Times
"...Cheerful and light, showcasing [Hughes's] knack for remembering all those aspects of middle-class American adolescent behavior..."
"...Ringwald is engaging and credible....A bright, funny performance by Anthony Michael Hall..."
"...With a wit and emotional range that seemed brand-new..."
Crazy for Cinema 10 of 10
Having been a teenager in the 80s, there isn't a film maker who better captures the pain of growing up than John Hughes. Sixteen Candles is the epitome of the longing and humiliation teens encounter on a daily basis. Though there are many aspects of the film that are quite real, it is, at its heart, a fairy tale. Because as we all know, the most popular guy in school never ends up with the pretty, but somewhat geeky girl who understands and likes him as a person. However, if we wanted reality, we wouldn't go to the movies. What makes this fairy take different from all the others is its outrageously funny situations and timeless high school humor...Of all John Hughes' films, Sixteen Candles is the most believable. The dialogue couldn't be truer to life and the characters are cut from a cloth everyone will recognize...What truly makes this one of the best high school comedies out there though, is the supporting cast, especially Anthony Michael Hall and Gedde Watanabe. No matter how many times I've seen this film, they keep me laughing my socks off...It seems harsh to say that Molly Ringwald's performance in this film is the best of her career, but I believe that to be true. It's certainly the only one where she's able to keep a sense of humor about her situation, which allows her to be funny, sweet and sympathetic.
FilmCritic.com 7 of 10
It's difficult to explain the draw that Sixteen Candles still exerts almost two decades after its original release -- and next to impossible if you're talking to someone who wasn't in high school at some point prior to 1990. On the surface, the premise is nothing spectacular: Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) has just turned sixteen, but her family is so obsessed with her older sister's wedding the next day, that they forget. Further complicating Sam's life is the fact that she's hopelessly in love with senior uber-hunk Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling (who?)) -- who already has the prom-queen for a girlfriend -- and she's being stalked by a freshman (Anthony Michael Hall, whose character is given no other name in the credits but "The Geek.")...Realistic? Yes, in a way. If a sociologist was, for some reason, studying the customs of kids in affluent North Shore of Chicago suburbs (where Sixteen Candles was shot), they could do worse than to start with this movie. It gets all the details just right. Ringwald and Hall do pretty good work for newcomers, Hall especially, playing the self-described "king of the dips***s," a loser who knows he's a loser but at least commands the respect of all the other losers. Look for a very young John Cusack as one of The Geek's henchman.
- Chris Barsanti