“Everyone’s home life is unsatisfying: if it wasn’t, people would live with their parents forever.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary’s assessment just about sums up the merits of this guiltily enjoyable teen classic — though he neglects to mention the memorable use of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” as the theme song (it was written specifically for the movie). Interestingly, Hughes was asked to write a play based upon his film (to be performed by high schoolers), and this may be the best way to view the material: as a morality play, one with an overly-convenient resolution (as Peary points out, “the ending is too rushed” and “we aren’t sufficiently prepared for the two couplings that take place”), but which packs a punch precisely because it’s so strategically scripted. Hughes’ genius was in capturing the types of stereotypes and concerns that plague teenagers (who often feel isolated by their differences) — and then allowing his characters to work through these concerns in a cathartic deconstruction. It’s the stuff of (troubled) teens’ fantasies, and clearly explains the film’s cult status years later.
Note: In addition to Sixteen Candles (1985), John Hughes wrote and directed several other cult favorites — including Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987); indeed, despite variable output in his later years, Hughes himself (who died from a heart attack in 2009 at age of 59) has a considerable cult following.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)