Review: Sixteen Candles (1984)

anthonymhall

I never had these moments in High School, I was far too boring apparently!

Written By: John Hughes
Directed By: John Hughes

Is Sixteen Candles raunchy? Of course it is raunchy, but it’s very funny and it is very smart in its raunchy ways. The difference between Sixteen Candles and other teen sex comedies is that the sex and raunchiness is less the focus of the film than the characters are. John Hughes likes these characters, that’s easy to see, even when he is being mean to them it’s the sort of meanness that you know will have a happy ending. There are countless movies that follow the same exact style, and darn near exact plot, as Sixteen Candles, yet it remains to this day one of the best of its kind, so why is that?

I have always loved Sixteen Candles because of its wit as well as its breezy and easy to relate to nature. Whether you have experienced any of the events in Sixteen Candles doesn’t matter, it’s the feelings that go along with those events. The viewer can easily connect with the awkwardness of teenage life, of the daily hazards of being in High School. But, that connection isn’t enough, there needs to be substance behind the connection. Sixteen Candles adds substance through its humor, witty dialogue and engaging characters. When it is funny, Sixteen Candles is very funny. I have never known anyone who talks like the kids in Sixteen Candles, but I love the way they talk. Most of all, who can’t relate to every character in the film in one way or another? That isn’t just because of the way they are written, it’s because of the easy acting nature provided by the cast, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall especially.

There are certain moments when the film becomes too over the top and almost implausible, such as Ringwald giving her panties to Hall, but even in those moments there is fun to be had. When the worst parts of the movie, such as much of the wedding elements, are still fun then you have managed to make a movie that I can watch over and over again.

Sixteen Candles is quintessential 1980’s Americana, there’s no better way to describe the film. It really is a joy to take in, with cool characters, catchy dialogue and an air of carefree enjoyment that it has retained to this day. It may not be a completely original film, but Sixteen Candles works within its tropes to present a film that can only be described as one thing, major, or maybe platinum as well, I’m not great with the Hughes slang!

Rating:

***1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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