Sixteen Candles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sixteen Candles Reviews

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½ July 11, 2016
Part sweet-hearted teenage romance and part raunchy National Lampoon comedy, which makes sense as this film represents a transition for first-time director John Hughes. Fresh from a post at the Lampoon magazine, where he penned the seminal classic Vacation, Hughes was about to revolutionize teen-geared filmmaking with his deep understanding of emotional roller coasters and accurate portrayal of the high school social structure. What results is a spotty picture that experiences triumphant highs and... well, not lows per se, but a shocking disconnect with any shred of political correctness. Long Duk Dong is the worst of these offenses, of course, as a blush-inducingly ugly Asian stereotype, while a major plot point in the second act involves handing off a passed-out prom queen for not-so-subtly hinted sexual escapades. At the time this was made, I'm sure, these seemed perfectly acceptable choices for a teen comedy, but it's impossible to imagine most of it surviving the filters today. But if we can forgive all that (or maybe just move on from it), Sixteen Candles remains an intrinsically charming (and often laugh-out-loud funny) film. Molly Ringwald is responsible for a great deal of that, at her blushing, grounded best, while Anthony Michael Hall deserves a nod for his work as her suave-as-he-thinks-he-is wannabe suitor. And I'd completely forgotten about several baby-faced cameos from John and Joan Cusack throughout the story. It spirals out of control at points, especially during the expansive, scattershot school dance, but regroups nicely in time for a touching, classically Hughsian finale. Matched, of course, with the perfect scene-setting new wave tune.
½ July 6, 2016
A 80s John Hughes written film, so you know it's hella solid in the dialogue category. Being the 1st film he directed, I thought it was great being John Hughes 1st. Their are some small side gags that would of been better left out of the movie entirely. Overall didn't hurt the movie too much. It's a fun, very enjoyable, and funny movie.
½ June 14, 2016
John Hughes is a great director but he really has his hits and misses and quite honestly he has more misses than hits. His directorial debut Sixteen Candles, is often looked at as an underrated classic but stuck with me as boring, cliched, and uninteresting. It's nothing but bland.
A teenager named Samantha celebrates her sixteenth birthday as she feels completely ignored by everyone - her own family, the man of her dreams, Jake, and being hounded by a perverted dork known as Farmer Ted. Samantha tries to let Jake know she likes him but the odds of it happening are slim.
Sixteen Candles is widely regarded as one of John Hughes' best films, besides Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller, but I found it to be one of his most disappointing. It's hard to really enjoy Sixteen Candles unless you're of a certain crowd - it's particularly girly in nature compared to that of The Breakfast Club that targets all audiences and mastered it. Sixteen Candles is cliched and bland, and the plot is basically just a day in a girl's life. There's nothing special about Sixteen Candles but it tries to add zany extra scenarios to make up for all of it - Farmer Ted's antics, Samantha's visiting set of grandparents, and a partying Chinese exchange student - it tries but resonated to me as too much. Sixteen Candles just doesn't establish itself enough as a movie and more as a diary entry. To sum it up, it tries at many things but fails because it just doesn't have it in its plot to be an iconic quotable comedy. You really have to like the main character of Samantha to like a wide majority of the film and she is frankly bland as any character in the film. Maybe it's that I knew nothing about the plot of Sixteen Candles walking into it but it was disappointing compared to my liking of several other John Hughes classics. I guess some like it and others don't - if you're a diehard Hughes fan, watch his first tale of mediocracy and see how it develops into cinematic decade definers eventually.
½ June 13, 2016
Sixteen Candles is a movie that deserves a rewatch from everybody whom has hailed this as a great seminal piece of film, because frankly it is and still is in a constantly changing and declining world of terrible comedies. Sixteen Candles is a movie of it's time and not just that it's drenched in the 1980's it also seems to be a movie rated PG, and in todays day and age it would no doubt earn itself an R rating due to it's constant use of swear words(which is very accurate towards teenage vocabulary), and one scene featuring nudity. John Hughes was a legend in the world of film for one reason he was always able to take a simplistic concept and build upon it, the simple concept taken for Sixteen Candles like most of Hughes's great films is placed right in the title, it's a girl's sixteenth birthday. The girl in question is Sam played by a Hughes regular Molly Ringwald, while Sam at times can be annoying with her constant over dramatization of events happening, I as someone whom has a sister can tell you that this is completely accurate to how a teenage girl acts. Ringwald turns in a stellar performance being just likeable enough so that you'll root for her despite the annoying dramatic aura she comes packaged with, what are we rooting for you may ask, well for her and Jake Ryan to get together at the end despite the fact that it seems like she's invisible to him, Jake is a character who's likeable throughout the entire film, as somehow the single most mature character in the entire feature, someone whom is looking for something real, not just wanting someone because of their looks or because they're "popular" but actually wanting someone for which he can actually be a boyfriend to, the second part of that word should be emphasized. Then of course we round out the main cast with Anthony Michael Hall's character whose name is never said rather he is just known as The Geek, it should be mentioned that despite the fact this movie is supposed to be Ringwald's it quickly becomes Hall's the moment he struts onto the screen, perfectly dorky, charming, and funny Hall is a character whose purpose in this movie seems to be to just free up the thoughts of our other 2 mains so that they aren't just talking to themselves about the problems they have. They are also many fun supporting characters adding some nice comedic moments along the way, notably Long Duk Dong(whom some would claim is a rascist character, but the film never directly mocks him rather they mock his actions and the situations he's in, and the other notables are The Geek's friends whom always have stuff on their heads, and Sam's family members all of which have their moment in the sun. While cheesy at times the film manages to make you smile all throughout it's runtime. In terms of films that perfectly encapsulate the teenage years, only one movie has ever done it better and that film is oddly enough also directed by John Hughes
½ June 12, 2016
Creepy, shallow, and annoying characters in a movie that's just not that funny and grueling to watch. "Sixteen Candles" hasn't aged nearly as well as "The Breakfast Club."
½ May 30, 2016
Really strange, though funny.
May 17, 2016
There are a lot of these coming-of-age John Hughes films from the 80s that I never saw. So when I saw an opportunity to catch Sixteen Candles on Netflix I figured it was time to do some homework and see what I missed. Well, after watching this movie I'm starting to think I didn't miss all that much. The beginning sets the film up well, because I was totally interested in this teenage girl who has to deal with the fact that her entire family forgot her birthday. In fact, I was impressed with how that one hook had me on the edge of my seat initially, wondering when the realization would hit and what the fallout would be. But apparently John Hughes didn't care about that as much as he cared about the partying habits of American teenagers. The movie takes a huge left turn once it cuts away from Molly Ringwald, which it does way too often. There was even a 30+ minute chunk of the film where the main character was nowhere to be found. Suddenly the story I thought I was watching disappears and is replaced by high school hi-jinks, offensive racial/sexual stereotypes, and date rape?!? Then, once your attention is diverted enough so that you no longer care, the big tension of the film is resolved with a whimper. The movie almost rights the ship by the end, if you're capable of getting past all the offensive stuff, but it never reaches the level of quality that the early scenes promised. Perhaps if I saw Sixteen Candles in the 80s when I was closer to the characters' ages I might enjoy it more, but watching it today was definitely a disappointment.
½ May 9, 2016
This was terrible until the last 20 minutes or so.
½ May 7, 2016
It's fun, but the racial stereotypes are fairly cringe-worthy.
½ May 5, 2016
John Hughes' directorial debut is a mildly amusing comedy at best and another cheesy, absurd, one-dimensional '80's teen drama at worst.
May 4, 2016
You can always count on John Hughes, Molly Ringwald, and Anthony Michael Hall to bring you funny dissections of teenage angst and the high school social scene. I loved the house party where the parents were away, it captured the spontaneous, meandering flavour of Midwestern teen life perfectly.
½ March 15, 2016
Sixteen Candles is the directorial debut of John Hughes, and it stars Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, and Michael Schoeffing in a coming of age film about a high school student that turns 16, and she has fallen in love with a boy, but her parents forgot about her birthday, and her crush is in a relationship with a girl. I was curious to see John Hughes's first film that he directed that made stars out of Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. As his first film, Sixteen Candles is a very impressive one that he still knows what high school students are like. The cast members are great in it, and even the actors who aren't famous at the time like John and Joan Cusack are really good that bring a bit of spark into this film. The writing is very good, and it has a lot of funny stuff in this. The chemistry between Molly and Anthony is very legitimate as they bring out comedy together. The characters are very relatable, although I didn't know enough about Jake and I wasn't quite sure why Samantha has a crush on him other then he's the hot guy. There are some backstory to him, but that's a bit rare in between in this movie. John Hughes's Sixteen Candles is a really great movie that he started off very well to become a famous director with films like The Breakfast Club, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
February 21, 2016
Feeling like you don't exist is a feeling that every teenager faces at least once in their life. At least that's what I'm assuming, but I can safely say that I've felt like that. Even though I am almost 6'8", sometimes I can still feel invisible. That is the premise of this film. A teenage girl's birthday is forgotten by everybody she knows. And that's all I can really say about this film. Nothing really popped out to me. It has all of the John Hughes tropes and a fun 80's soundtrack with some good jokes. A pretty short review for a pretty enjoyable movie.
February 19, 2016
OH Jake ??? still fresh to me.
½ February 18, 2016
For a movie made in the early 80's it wasn't terrible. That being said, it isn't a movie that I am going to have to revisit anytime soon.
February 6, 2016
I didn't realize how zany and hilarious this movie is! It's a great comedy, with a lot of heart. It's not as serious or insightful as Breakfast Club. It's its own beast and it's great!
February 1, 2016
Must-own alert! 16 Candles is an amazing film. It's not the best in the world, but it's a lot of fun. It's a coming-of-age comedy about a girl who turned 16 at the beginning of the film, it's not disclosed as to which level of high school she is in, but she's either a Sophomore or Junior. Anyway, everyone forgets her birthday and she's crushing hard on some guy who is getting sick of his partygirl constantly drunk gf and wants a change with a real woman. There's geeks and other stereotypes, but it's not as intense as other high school films. The plot is light and simple, but it's a good one and must-see!
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2016
Solid. I feel like this film is a bit overrated as far as John Hughes films go (this is like my 5th favorite of his lol). But still an 80s/teen classic.
December 24, 2015
It shows potential throughout and entertains thanks to its lively cast and down-to-earth mishaps, but ultimately falls short of being a well-rounded, significant and complete film about the struggles of teenagers.
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