SIXTEEN CANDLES

(1984)
With Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling, Paul Dooley
Directed by John Hughes
Reviewed by JB

Molly's underwhelmed by his Don Knott's impression     Remember when Molly Ringwald and John Hughes ruled the Universe?  Unlike teen comedies where the story is about who gets laid first, SIXTEEN CANDLES is about a high school girl who just wants to be noticed, not only by her family, who have forgotten her 16th birthday, but also by the guy she is crushing on. Instead, she suffers humiliation after humiliation on what should be her best birthday of all.  Ringwald's performance is utterly fresh and charismatic in a way she would never be able to fully recapture, and Anthony Michael Hall comes off like a mini-Woody Allen as "Farmer Ted", the school's king of the dorks.  Some of the humor and language may have been crude by 1980s standards, but in the wake of AMERICAN PIE, EUROTRIP and the like, it is much easier to overlook these days.  Look for John Cusack, his sister Joan and Jamie Gertz (as well as the "Go to the light!" lady from POLTERGEIST) in small parts.  Part One of the "Ringwald/Hughes" trilogy which defined teen films of the '80s. ½ - JB

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