Birthday Blunder: ’16 Candles’ reveals school can function as producer of hope, happiness [Reel Talk]


Misha Rekhter

Feeling forgotten and overlooked is the absolute worst, right? Well, luckily “16 Candles” faces those issues head on with humor and poignancy to spare. The movie deals with the protagonist, Samantha (Molly Ringwald), navigating her way through a seemingly unattainable high school crush, her own family forgetting her birthday and being completely overshadowed by her sister’s impending marriage. While filled with outdated references and jokes the movie is still able to strike a chord in its portrayal of the teenage search for love. The poignant, vivid and vulgar view of high school reminds you that school serves as more than an institution of learning, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel that way at CHS, but as the fulcrum of a teenagers social experience. From class to dances to parties the characters search for a long lost love, or “babe,” is always merely a moment from revealing itself.

However, the underlying theme of hope and possibility is crudely buried under a barrage of humor and snappy remarks. The language in the movie evokes memories of a time where sassy comebacks and gross retorts were the norm unlike the politically correct mannerisms of today. From the funny, yet somewhat racist portrayal of an Asian foreign exchange student named “Long Duk Dong” to children using an assortment of degrading and repulsive assaults to charmingly refer to each other. This movie isn’t for the vain of heart with terminology that could make a sailor uncomfortable. Yet encapsulated within the jokes and obscure adventures is a heartwarming movie filled with love and hope. At the very least, “16 Candles” should make every student a little excited about going to school even if only for the chance to find their very own sweetheart.

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