• PG, 1 hr. 33 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    John Hughes
    In Theaters:
    Jan 1, 1984 Wide
    On DVD:
    Oct 10, 2000
  • MCA Universal Home Video

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Sixteen Candles Reviews

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Matthew Samuel M

Super Reviewer

December 10, 2013
Since this is John Hughes' directorial debut, it's understandable Sixteen Candles is far below the caliber of such brilliant and powerful classics as Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. But not even that expectation can justify the disappointment Sixteen Candles is. Characters are not as well developed as they usually are in Hughes' best films, and some parts come off as simply ignorant---even mildly racist in relation to a Chinese exchange student. All that aside, however, the film paves the way for Molly Ringwald's later success, and partially signifies her ability to captivate an audience and properly embody the truths of teenage angst. Sixteen Candles is only watchable when Ringwald is on screen. It is unfortunately brimming with cheap humor and shaky plot twists.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2008
Not only is this one of the most popular and well known of the "Brat Pack" films, it also has the distinction of rightly being considered the Superbad of its day. That's a very fitting term, because I can definitely see the influence it had on that film, as well as a wide swath of popular culture overall.

This is the story of a sweet yet unappreciated girl whose family forgets her 16th birthday. On top of that, her older sister is getting married the day after her birthday, so she is ignored even more. On top if that, the boy she has a major crush on doesn't even seem to realize she exists. On top of THAT is the fact that the one boy who does know she exists is a total geek who is absolutely obsessed with her.

This is all at one a funny, sweet, edgy, and wild ball of fun, heart, and pain. It superbly captures what it is like to be a teenager and have to deal all kinds of awful, embarrassing, and ridiculous crap. One of the best things about the late john Hughes is how well he understood youth. The way he writes them and their dialogue is spot on, never condescending, and very well rounded. There are of course some stereotypes and archetypes, but only a small section of them are purely caricature- all of the rest, mainly the leads as played by Ringwald, Schoeffling, and Hall are well rounded and fleshed out characters who are more complex than they seem, and have far more to offer than what the surface shows. In the hilarious scene stealing role of Long Duk Dong is Gedde Watanabe. This character is a goofy exchange student who loves to party. The character is borderline offensive, but Watanabe's performances transcends that and elevates things to the level of genial farce.

Had I grown up with this movie, and if I were a fan of the 80s in the same way that I'm a fan of the 60s, 70s, and 90s, then I'd give this one 5 stars easily (probably). As much as I like this movie, and a good as it is, I was originally just going to give it a 4. It is really good, and pretty solid, but not all of it has aged well. The general themes and ideas and timeless, but the specific details are very much of their time, thus they are dated, but not in the same sort of way that like a blaxploitation film is. They are charming, but only to a slight extent.

I'm giving this movie the benefit of the doubt though, because it is really hilarious, very sweet, and, as I said, a very influential film. As someone who really doesn't care too much for 80s pop culture, I'd call that some definite high praise.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

October 7, 2011
John Hughes had the touch to create memorable Teen comedies. In fact, he is the only that was able to pull off some of the most memorable and smartest films of the genre. He understood teenagers and there frustrations. Using a whimsical comedy style, Hughes utilized common teenage issues in a funny, creative way, and made the viewer realize that he himself found it that embarrassing. With Sixteen Candles, John Hughes crafts yet another strong film. The film surrounds a girl whose birthday everyone has forgotten. She proceeds to have a terrible day, and everything goes from bad to worse. The cast is terrific. And they each deliver great performances. John Hughes has made nothing but good films; Sixteen Candles is a great film that will make you laugh. The film is memorable and is entertaining and a lot fun as with every other John Hughes films. Sixteen Candles has blends comedy and romance very well, and it's not cheesy whatsoever like every other romance comedy. That's the beauty about John Hughes' films, he knew how to balance different elements and make it work well to benefit the finished film. The result is yet another timeless comedy with a great cast that definitely is very entertaining and a lot of fun. Only John Hughes could pull something like this. A terrific comedy and is one of Hughes' best films along with The Breakfast Club.
TomBowler
TomBowler

Super Reviewer

August 2, 2009
A cut above the usual teen movie by way of a whip smart script, great editting and a fantastic performance by Anthony Michael Hall. Full review later.
murphmann93
murphmann93

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
Another great 80's film from John Hughes!
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

April 1, 2011
An american classic. Its hilarious, and interesting. Great young actors, and one of the best high school movies ever.
Shawn E

Super Reviewer

May 25, 2011
A John Hughes masterpiece that perfectly captures not only the 80's time period but the struggles of being a teenager. The characters are great, and the performances are real. Many hilarious moments and scenes too adorable to describe.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

October 1, 2010
Sixteen Candles is a classic 80's film, but sometimes it feels slow. It is humorous and very true to heart. The story of a teenage girl on her 16th birthday, when nobody even realizes that it's her birthday could not have been told in any way better than this. Of course it's a pretty basic premise, but the classic feel and the great acting by the cast makes this film great! I have seen better Ringwald films, but this one if definitely one of her best! Sixteen Candles does the best it can with whatever it has to offer and it succeeds with flying colours!
erika250
erika250

Super Reviewer

December 31, 2010
Everything about it was good but I did not like how it started out slow.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
My favourite Hughes movie, I love Molly Ringwald's character in this one, the story is fantastic and it's hilarious too. If you like Hughes films you should see this one too.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

December 25, 2010
This movie is both sweet and edgy, yet it doesn't seem to TRY for that winning combination like sweet/edgy movies of today. Perhaps it's also because there weren't as many MPAA restrictions back then. Molly Ringwald has an angsty charm that I dig. She's not whiney; she's real, dude. Too bad she's all mom-in-headlights now on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."

Jake Ryan is pretty dreamy - the Adonis with the heart of gold - but how long is this relationship really gonna last? They don't know anything about each other! I rather like Samantha and The Geek's friendship though. The character-building moment of Samantha allowing The Geek use of her underwear really cements her as one of the coolest girls in American cinema.
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

October 31, 2007
An all time favourite of mine that I have loved since I was about 12 years old... I wonder how much of an unbiased review this will be....
Admittedly, on a re-watch last night, (and it's probably about the 100th re-watch in my life - the only thing that surprises me about this one anymore is the soundtrack on the remastered DVD, as I watched my old, now retired, VHS copy so frequently that the changed soundtrack they used on that is ingrained in my head - I can acknowledge a few flaws. Most obvious is that Jake the dream guy is not actually that much of a catch at all. A guy who lets his passed out drunk girlfriend drive home with a teenager he just met, who can barely drive - yeah, that's a keeper. And let's not start on Long Duk Dong - very PC, I don't think! (Having said that I love Long Duk Dong!).
On the plus side, Molly Ringwald as Samantha, who's parents are so busy thinking of her sister's upcoming wedding that they forget it's her 16 birthday, is just fantastic. Also great is Anthony Michael Hall as Farmer Ted and Haviland Morris is actually quite sweet as Caroline.
This is just all round a great 80's movie, one of my favourites from John Hughes. Not quite as great as Pretty in Pink, but certainly on it's way there. I don't know if it would be as much loved by teens today, but luckily they have some great films of their own such as Easy A, which reminded me a little of this even though the story is nothing alike (maybe because they "borrowed" some of the (great!) soundtrack. I love the ending too with Jake at his car and then Samantha blowing out her candles. A sweet movie with enough angst to be relatable, but an ending that will leave you smiling.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

November 19, 2009
Molly Ringwald is just so incredibly adorable and perfect as the normal sixteen year old girl. The fact that that you can buy her performance makes everything else somehow work. Even with some kooky aspects, like horny Chinese exchange students, it still comes off as a very believable high school experience. The movie's premise somehow captures the worst fear of a lot of people, being totally forgotten and ignored. The romance, comedy and drama really seem genuine and that's what makes it so great.
movieguru12
movieguru12

Super Reviewer

December 8, 2007
This movie is so funny!!! Anthony Micheal Hall is SO FUNNY!!! You'll definetely get great laughs out of this adorably funny 80s teen comedy. I LOVE THE 80s!!! FOREVER!!! Love it! Just great! I love this movie :) I great 80s movie :)
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2010
"Donger's here for five hours, and he's got somebody. I live here my whole life, and I'm like a disease."

A young girl's "sweet sixteenth" birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.

REVIEW
John Hughes' first and perhaps most charming film written/directed by is about everyteen Ringwald facing every girl's worst nightmare: her parents totally forgetting her sweet 16th birthday as they obsess over older daughter Baker's upcoming wedding. To her rescue comes self-appointed "king of the dweebs" Hall (a laugh riot) as the moxied nerd who helps in her desire to meet hunky high school stud Schoeffling while romancing his gorgeous stuck up blonde babe-o-licious Morris (oh momma!) Funniest moment is Hall trying to prove to fellow loser Cusack his track record as a babe magnet by pulling up in a BMW with Morris comatose!
MeetMeinMontauk
MeetMeinMontauk

Super Reviewer

May 24, 2009
Oh sexy girlfriend. I think I kinda died laughing.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

January 29, 2008
A John Hughes masterpiece.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 22, 2009
Easily my favourite John Hughes movie. Anthony Michael Hall is brilliant but Gedde Watanabe really steals the show.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

April 26, 2009
Sixteen Candles.... What a great movie. First crushes, first times, first parties.. Just a lot of firsts. Jake.. awww. Who didn't have a Jake in high school.. :)
This movie is just a great movie done by an amazing director. Its funny and entertaining and you can relate to it which is always good.. Definitely a classic and will be loved forever.
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