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).
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.
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