Sixteen Candles (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sixteen Candles (1984)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for his characters and their hang-ups.

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Movie Info

On the eve of her sister's wedding, suburban teenager Samantha (Molly Ringwald) suffers silently as her family forgets her birthday. Even worse, some total dork (Anthony Michael Hall) keeps propositioning her with sophomoric innuendo when she really craves romantic attention from high-school hunk Jake (Michael Schoeffling). Moving from Samantha's family home as it's invaded by outre relatives to a high-school dance where nothing seems to go her way, this bittersweet teen comedy traces the hopes and disappointments of not only Samantha, but also a host of incidental but memorable characters, from a hapless Japanese exchange student to a prom queen and a posse of barely pubescent nerds. A climactic party scene at which these various strata of young America overcome their rigid hierarchies sets the stage for resolutions both tender and torrid. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi
Rating:
PG (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre:
Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MCA Universal Home Video

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Cast

Molly Ringwald
as Samantha
John Cusack
as Bryce
Joan Cusack
as Geek Girl No. 1
Haviland Morris
as Caroline
Gedde Watanabe
as Long Duk Dong
Carlin Glynn
as Brenda Baker
Rick LeFevour
as Stunts
Billie Bird
as Dorothy
Carole Cook
as Helen
Deborah Pollack
as Lumberjack
Ross Berkson
as Ray Gun Geek No. 1
Jonathan Chapin
as Jimmy Montrose
Paula Elser
as Shower Double
Steven Farber
as Ray Gun Geek No.2
Jami Gertz
as Robin
Frank Howard
as Freshman
Tony Longo
as Rock
Bill Orsi
as Bruno
Zelda Rubinstein
as Organist
Dennis Vero
as Bus Driver
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News & Interviews for Sixteen Candles

Critic Reviews for Sixteen Candles

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (6)

There's also a darkly handsome high school heartbreak kid (Michael Schoeffling), a merciful brisk pace, some quick humor (visual and verbal), and a solid music track.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

As the girl, Molly Ringwald is natural and appealing, but she's lost in a world of blunt, vicious caricatures.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Sly humour and an appreciative ear for the demotic improv of teenage chat completes an attractive package.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A sweet and funny movie about two of the worst things that can happen to a girl on her sixteenth birthday.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Most of the the movie is cheerful and light, showcasing Mr. Hughes's knack for remembering all those aspects of middle-class American adolescent behavior that anyone else might want to forget.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Some of the material works marvelously well, but the stuff that doesn't takes the movie down with it.

Full Review… | January 1, 1984
ReelViews
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sixteen Candles

Had its cute moments, but made 1.5 hours feel like 3. And what's up with that weird Chinese / Korean / Japanese guy speaking a madeup Asian language.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

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.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

½

Empty characters typical of juvenile 1980's films. Not worth the time.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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