Make a wish! Sixteen Candles encapsulated what it was like to be a teenager who feels invisible but is really a star in their own right — and more than three decades later, it still resonates with fans.
John Hughes’ 1984 film introduced fans to Molly RingwaldSamantha Baker Anthony Michael Hallas Farmer Ted or the Geek. The two stars’ careers quickly took off after the rom-com became a mega-hit, leading to even bigger roles in The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink Weird Science.
While some of these story lines were from Sixteen Candles are controversial in modern times — like when Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) trades his drunk girlfriend Caroline (Haviland Morris) for Sam’s underwear — a lot of the themes are still relevant.
In the film, Sam’s parents forget her Sweet 16 because her older sister, Ginny (Blanche Baker), is getting married to a bohunk named Rudy (John Kapelos). As Sam tries to forget about her failed birthday, her high school crush, Jake, finally starts to notice her — and not just because she was cool enough to lend a freshman geek her underwear to help him win a bet.
The film also stars both Joan CusackAnd her brother. John CusackIn minor roles that are still memorable to fans of the teenage love story,
Looking back, the cast of Sixteen Candles still can’t believe how much staying power the film has had.
Gedde Watanabe, who plays foreign exchange student Long Duk Dong, described the movie’s continued success as “quite incredible” and something he didn’t see coming.
“I’m still sideswiped by it all,” he told VultureAfter doing an autograph show with former costars, I did a screening in May 2014. Debbie Pollack, who played Long Duk Dong’s girlfriend Marlene. “Maybe because it’s been so many years since the movie and even several years since I’ve seen it, I expected, like, two people to show up. And when so many did — and brought their kids and talked about how much the movie meant to them, I don’t know — I’m humbled and I’m grateful.”
Watanabe added: “It also says so much about John Hughes, his movies, their resilience and his brilliance. Bless his heart, because we don’t have him anymore.”
Ringwald also wrote a touching essay for the director, expressing his affection. New YorkerApril 2018. She recalled meeting Hughes while he was casting. The Breakfast ClubInstead of making the film his directorial debut with that film, he changed gears and created Sixteen Candles.
“He told me later that, over a July 4th weekend, while looking at headshots of actors to consider for the movie, he found mine, and decided to write another movie around the character he imagined that girl to be,” she wrote. “That script became Sixteen CandlesThis is a story about a little girl whose family forgets her 16th birthday. ”
The RiverdaleHughes was praised for writing so many movies that had a female lead. “No one in Hollywood was writing about the minutiae of high school, and certainly not from a female point of view,” she explained.
Scroll down to see the cast. Sixteen Candles has been doing since the ‘80s: