Monday, February 14, 2011

Sixteen Candles

Tonight I saw Sixteen Candles, starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall.

There is something magical about a John Hughes film, even 27 years later.

Brought back to theaters in honor of Valentine's Day, the simplicity of teenage love shines on in the characters of Samantha (Molly), The Geek (Hall) and Jake (Michael Schoeffling). A love triangle if there ever was one.

When her family forgets her sixteenth birthday, Samantha is devastated. She whines to her friend at school and resents her sister who is getting married the following day. She's also taken an embarrassing written "sex test" that has fallen into the hands of the boy she has a crush on. She's had better weeks.

The Geek is obsessed with Samantha, bugging her on the bus, then hijacking a spot on the dance floor next to her later that same night. His sidekick friends, expecting the most from him, only make things worse.

Jake is a cute, popular boy with a bombshell girlfriend who is unsatisfied with his relationship. He's looking for more than a trophy, and is interested in learning more about Samantha.

And there you have the plot.

The rest of the film is a hilarious standard 80s teen comedy, complete with the obligatory exchange student, two Cusacks and an obnoxious kid brother.

Did I mention that I still loved every minute of it as much as I did when I was 9?

The formula of realistic dialogue, quotable catchphrases, and perfectly cast actors gets me every time.

John Hughes gave us even more than that, though. He gave us films with heart.


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