August 29th 2009 22:00
Now that the hype of 80s film pioneer John Hughes’ death has calmed down, I thought it was time we delved back into some of the films that really helped shaped the era and gave us all those memories. In the following week, we’ll have a look at a bunch of them.
I though what better movie to start with than his first real coming-of-age teen film that helped define all his later works – Sixteen Candles.
It was also his first (and hers) role with Molly Ringwald, which helped her jump into the teen spotlight and right bang in the middle of the Brat Pack.
On recent re-watch, I really thought this movie held up so much better than I remembered – the first half is still a really great film and Ringwald is truly likable.
While the first two acts have stood the test of time, the final isn’t so hot and the ending is barely stomachable...
There are a few things that stand out, like Anthony Michael Hall’s great performance as ‘The Geek’ which has stereotyped his whole career since, or the bizarre Long Duk Dong that is pretty funny, but borders on the edge of offensive and racist. It is obvious that characters like that were definite inspirations for later teen movies, such as the character Harold and Kumar from their roles in American Pie and Van Wilder. Her little brother is also an absolute gem.
The whole movie really was beginning of the genre and while some bits have dated, I think it’s relevant for anyone who is, was or will be a teenager in any decade.
"When you don't have anything, you don't have anything to lose. Right?"
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