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Sixteen Candles (1984)

Director:
John Hughes
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Comedy/Coming-of-Age
NORWEGIAN TITLE
, for en bursdag!

RUNNING TIME
93 minutes

Producer:
Hilton A. Green
Michelle Manning
Ned Tanen
Screenwriter:
John Hughes


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Samantha "Sam" Baker Molly Ringwald
Jim Baker Paul Dooley
Brenda Baker Carlin Glynn
Mike Baker Justin Henry
Jake Ryan Michael Schoeffling
Caroline Mulford Haviland Morris
Long Duk Dong Gedde Watanabe
Ginny Baker Blanche Baker
Grandpa Howard Baker Edward Andrews
Grandma Dorothy Baker Billie Bird
Grandma Helen Carole Cook
Grandpa Fred Max Showalter
Randy Liane Curtis
Bryce John Cusack
Ted, a.k.a. "Farmer Ted" Anthony Michael Hall
Geek Girl Joan Cusack
Reverend Brian Doyle-Murray
Robin Jami Gertz
Rudy Ryszcyk John Kapelos

 

Review

John Hughes' directorial debut is a seemingly lightweight teen-comedy about unrequited infatuations, high-schoolers fitting into stereotypical classifications and the inevitable alienation you feel from your parents and family as puberty hits in. Hughes treats a lot of his script as a clear-cut comedy, directing several scenes almost as gags, and there are lots of stereotypes among the supporting characters, whose revelling in their socially constructed personas presents an interesting observation by Hughes; this is one (valid) way to hide your insecurities and real self, he claims. He would discuss this concept in more detail in The Breakfast Club a year later. Still, what elevates Sixteen Candles to something real and timeless, is that out of what may at first seem like archtypes emerges a couple of three-dimensional human beings (Sam and Ted) with big, idiosyncratic personalities, and with a budding notion of what life may bring outside the confines of high school. Sixteen Candles remains a fun watch today, and Hughes also had the nerve to throw controversy into the mix with a segment involving the characters Ted and Caroline which is perfectly ambiguous and dubious. People and situations aren't always like they seem at first, says Hughes sensibly. And a brilliantly sensitive Molly Ringwald and a confident Anthony Michael Hall certainly helped him get that message across.

Copyright 11.10.2020 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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