established herself as the teen queen of the '80s in this fresh comedy. The movie is a day in the life of Samantha, whose 16th birthday is turning out to be anything but sweet. All the traumas of teendom come down on one long day, which sees Samantha surrounded by dithery relatives, mooning over a high school hunk, and pursued by a sawed-off Lothario. Sixteen Candles
marked the directing debut of John Hughes
, and its goofy energy displayed a promising talent with a great ear for high school lingo ... a promise neglected since Hughes became, after Home Alone, a one-man entertainment industry. There are some pretty crass moments (Why the stereotype of the foreign-exchange student from Asia?), but Ringwald's steady appeal smoothes over the rough spots. As the pubescent, self-styled lady-killer, Anthony Michael Hall
turns in a hilarious portrait of a young swinger; he and Ringwald would reteam with Hughes for The Breakfast Club
, another key teen picture of the decade. --Robert Horton
Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) is approaching her sixteenth birthday, but sees little to celebrate about: her family have, in any case, forgotten her big day, and she is suffering from a severe bout of unrequited love. Worse still, the object of her affections is being courted by the school's most desirable student - can Samantha trust her quarry to value brains over beauty? John Hughes' teen comedy features a soundtrack including Spandau Ballet, Thompson Twins and The Stray Cats.