Oh, is there anything more horrible than the turmoil of young unrequited love? If you ask Samantha Baker, most definitely not. Throw on top of that an entire family that’s forgotten your birthday — your sweet sixteenth — and you just might have the worst day ever. However, if you’re so inclined to put a positive spin on it, you’ll find one of the best movies of the 1980s, Sixteen Candles. This Valentine’s Day, we look back on the cult classic’s fashion and fabulousness. No plus-one required.
What should be the greatest day of her life quickly sours when Sam, played by the incomparable Molly Ringwald, realizes her family has forgotten her birthday. As if it wasn’t bad enough that her sister’s impending wedding stole her spotlight, she must balance a major crush on senior heartthrob Jake Ryan while fighting off the unwanted attention of Farmer Ted, the annoying freshman who refuses to leave her alone.
While there are other ’80s movies out there that make fiercer fashion statements, Sixteen Candles is notable for its cross-section of teens at their most awkward; each one trying to figure out who they are and how they can best express themselves in a myriad of ways. How they choose to do so through their fashion choices evokes memories of those past ensembles we ourselves aren’t so proud of, but look back on sentimentally and with thanks (Was I the only one who rocked a skort?).
With its charming characters and nostalgic plot, Sixteen Candles is a perfect ’80s guilty pleasure, whether it’s for a V-day, b-day, or everyday movie night.
What high school movie do you relate to best? Bonus points if it stars Molly Ringwald!