Sixteen Candles helps us to celebrate being “Sweet Sixteen” again in this heart-warming comedy about Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald), an average teenager on the verge of celebrating this momentous occasion, whose family seemingly forgets this pivotal event in her life.
The movie is this special day in the life of Samantha, whose 16th birthday is turning out to be anything but sweet. All the traumas of teendom come down on one long day, which sees Samantha surrounded by dithery relatives, mooning over a high school hunk, and pursued by a sawed-off Lothario.
Sixteen Candles marked the directing debut of John Hughes, and its goofy energy displayed a promising talent with a great ear for high school lingo. As the pubescent, self-styled lady-killer, Anthony Michael Hall plays the quintessential geek who is a hilarious portrait of a young swinger.
Meanwhile, Samantha’s life is going downhill fast. Her sister’s getting married, and with all the excitement the rest of her family forgets her birthday. Add all this to a pair of horrendously embarrassing grandparents (Carole Cook, Max Showalter), a foreign exchange student named Long Duc Dong (Gedde Watanabe), and we have the makings of a hilarious journey into young womanhood.
Director: John Hughes
Year of Release: 1984
Character to watch: Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?