Sixteen Candles


John Hughes' debut, starring Molly Ringwald

A female counterpoint to Porky's-style gross-out, John Hughes’ directorial debut married high-school bedrocks of bad parties and crashed cars with a touchier-feelier sense of angst.

Hughes’ rep company (Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall) takes instant shape, while the cast-iron premise – Ringwald’s family forgets her birthday! – pioneers the Hughes motif of using one day to magnify life-defining moments.

Sincere and charming with enough crudity to stave off mawkishness, the naturalism has outlasted its none-more-’80s stylings.

Its impact was seismic.

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