After establishing himself as a screenwriter for National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Mr. Mom, late filmmaker, John Hughes, decided to make a name for himself as a director so he can expand his horizons, starting with his first full length feature film called, Sixteen Candles.
Sixteen Candles was released in 1984. At the time of it’s release, it received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, and it made enough money at the box office. The film allowed Hughes to continue his career as a director and this is the first collaboration between him and Molly Ringwald.
For those who weren’t around in The 80’s, this article contains no SPOILERS. You are allowed to read it, if you never had a chance to watch it.
Positive: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, both did a good job on their performances as Sam and The Geek. (which is Anthony’s character’s name listed in The Credits)
In Sam’s room, there’s a David Bowie (may he Rest In Peace) poster on her wall. As an Extra Point, one of Bowie’s songs, plays in the background. Hughes also went on to make another reference to Bowie in The Breakfast Club.
Without giving too much away, the sole reason on why Sam’s parents forgot her birthday, is because her older sister is getting married. We can all relate to a conundrum involving two people in our lives, which results in a chain reaction.
Gedde Watanabe’s performance as Long Duck Dong, hands down, has got to be the best part of the movie. For all the people who think that Long Duk Dong is a negative stereotype towards Asians, chill out. Hughes didn’t shove any racist jokes down my throat. If you’re a Social Justice Warrior, (SJW for short) deport your egotistical butts back to The Whambulance!
I gotta love the part when Long Duck Dong’s name is mentioned, a gong plays in the background. If someone mentions my name, I want a gong playing in the background.
Siblings, John & Joan Cusack, make their film debuts, prior to becoming established actors.
One geek, kinda resembles Cyclops off of X-Men. You know with his trademark visor he needs to prevents collateral damage. If they mentioned Cyclops, I would’ve given it Bonus Points for making a Marvel reference.
The Best Line in this movie, is when somebody said, “Bonzai!” That Line deserves Bonus Points for making me laugh out loud.
If you’ve seen Central Intelligence, one character claims that Sixteen Candles is his favorite movie.
Bill Murray’s older brother, Brian-Doyle Murray, makes a small appearance as a reverend.
Negative: The film is completely dated like a milk carton, for example, one character mentions floppy disks as one of the most expensive items on the planet, and of course, a ridiculous retainer that Joan Cusack wore.
The kid from Kramer Vs. Kramer, is in this movie, as a reminder that Meryl Streep’s (my arch-nemesis) influence continues to haunt me, because Apocalypse Now got robbed at The Oscars!
Product Placement featuring the following brands including Visa and Coke. I’ll give this con a pass, because I couldn’t find any other brand to shove down my throat.
They’re annoying Cartoon Effects in this movie. This predates the live action adaptation of Inspector Gadget’s annoying use of Sound Effects. If it’s an animated film, I’ll give it a pass, but if it’s a live action film with Cartoon Effects, it’s a big flaw.
Note From 2020: If you’re easily offended by dated gay slurs, it is best to steer clear from this movie. The 80’s had The AIDS Epidemic when some fuckin’ asshole like Isaiah Washington believes gay people were spreading an epidemic. I have nothing against the LBGT community.
A cheesy Freeze Frame is shown at the end of the film. I don’t wanna sound biased, but every time I witness a Freeze Frame, I tend to make fun of it by narrating as some sort of cliffhanger at the end of a television drama.
The Final Verdict: B-
In my opinion, I thought it was alright, it’s not a timeless film, but it has some good elements, however, the cons I’ve listed really don’t hold up so well. If you grew up in The 80’s, introduce your kids to this classic as a family gathering in case you get bored.
By the way, ignore the various criticisms surrounding the film’s “controversies,” because a bunch of Social Justice Warriors claim that the film is offensive, due to Long Duck Dong. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, all you Social Justice Warriors can deport your egotistical butts back to The Whambulance!