Sixteen Candles Screen 2 articles

Sixteen Candles

1984

Sixteen Candles Poster
  • The near-constant sexist and racist humor (e.g., a gong is sounded each time the Chinese exchange student, named Long Duk Dong, appears on screen), along with its dated musical and fashion sense and a delightfully predictable finale, has helped to make the film a cult classic. But when stripped of nostalgia and kitsch value, SIXTEEN CANDLES remains a worthy interpretation of high-school life, as it can only be experienced in the movies.

  • I could see even then how crass and offensive much of the surrounding material was—not just Long Duk Dong (it's a reassuring sign of progress that this feels now almost like watching Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's did then) but also Joan Cusack's pathetic and perpetually mocked neck-brace girl, Samantha's sister getting hopped up on painkillers at her wedding, all the grandparent stuff, etc. Mostly rolled with it as a kid but it's harder now.

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