Saturday, 8 August 2009

Sixteen Candles (1984)

I suppose if I am going to espouse the greatness of John Hughes I really should expand my knowledge of his work to the larger degree of his output. This of course, should include films that I would avoid with a vengeance, that dreaded genre “Romantic Comedy” only surpassed in horror by the dreaded “Chick Flick”

Watching Sixteen Candles was a very odd experience for me, in fact so odd I almost balked at this review, mainly because I didn't want to say I didn’t like it. I guess I should quantify that statement.vlcsnap-2009-08-08-19h19m21s47

Reviewing suddenly took a leap into feasibility once I realised exactly what I didn’t like, it was the story. For most films this would be the death knell but not here. You see the film just shrieks with unfettered Hughes-ness. We have grotesque extended families, amazing 80’s music, sexy cars, sexier women, funny geeks, sweet shy teens, outgoing outrageous teens, awful situations, brilliantly filmed exteriors, the breaking of the 4th wall and a depiction of Americas well off middle class that is portrayed with such a panache that it simply yells JOHN HUGHES at the top of its voice. Add to this the totally selfish reason for not liking the story (I don't like cheesy romance!) and you have a film that survives for this watcher despite the single most important aspect being lacking.vlcsnap-2009-08-08-20h19m32s68

Maybe that was the genius of these 80s films, they were so unerringly stylish and Johns writing was such a combination of subtle and balls to the wall outrageous funny that against all odds Sixteen Candles works for me. I wish I had a more romantic soul so that I could appreciate what felt like such a sickly contrived plot and I think that anyone that liked, Ferris or Weird Science and has a romantic streak that can resist vomiting when watching Dirty Dancing would lap this movie up. A great start to the run and a brilliant introduction to Hughes “other” films. I certainly don't feel as nervous about “Pretty in Pink” anymore.

Paul out…and contemplating Dirty Dancing…how bad is that!

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