Screen Spotlight Featured Reviews
Flashback Thursday: Sixteen Candles
Written by Jonathan Jacobs
It is important to keep perspective when analyzing new movies. In the age where movie remakes happen almost within a decade rather than the standard twenty five years it is difficult to develop an appreciation for the remakes of classics. Looking back on the history of remakes, it is important to recognize the film that launched an entire movie genre, the teen smash hit Sixteen Candles.
Not only did Sixteen Candles kick start the production of what would become hundreds of high school movies, the film also pitted together the two biggest teen stars of the 80’s, Molly Ringwald and the infamous Anthony Michael Hall. In a way they are both infamous for how their careers plummeted and ultimately fizzled out after the 80’s aura vanished from mainstream consciousness. John Cusack die hards should also appreciate his role in this film as a video game loving, diffident dork, one of his first such roles.
Sixteen Candles set the standard for films such as Can’t Hardly Wait, She’s All That, Varsity Blues, Whatever it Takes, most recently Superbad, and others. The film has it all; romance, teenagers experimenting with alcohol for the first time, intrusive parents, a father daughter dynamic, a foreign exchange student, best friends struggling to find their identity, confronting stereotypes and maintaining reputations. These themes and premises helped to guide directions of high school films and its success proved the viability of putting teenage angst onto the silver screen.
Sixteen Candles, is not just a teen movie, it is a Hollywood classic that deserves credit not only for its own brilliance as a stand alone film, but also for its paving the way for other filmmakers and actors to succeed in the genre. Sixteen Candles is this week’s must watch film from our Retrospective Vault.