The death of John Hughes yesterday prompted reflection on how badly all of his films suck. Judging from the email I've received, I have a controversial view about the value of his films. So here's why Sixteen Candles is a piece of crap. Evaluations of his other films will be posted in due course.
Sixteen Candles is a coming-of-age comedy that purports to be about an awkward teen's quest for visibility among the mature. The film of course has a standard happy ending, with Samantha hooking up with her romantic interest and the film's hero, Jake Ryan. But Jake Ryan is no hero. To wit:
In the course of the film, Jake Ryan claims to have no principled objection to having sex with ("violating," he says) his passed out girlfriend, Carolyn (he says he's "not into it" anymore). Then, in exchange for a pair of Samantha's underwear, he pimps Carolyn out to an under-age drunk geek (Ted)-- he tricks the barely conscious Carolyn into getting into a car with Ted, gives Ted the keys (Ted does not have a driver's license and has been drinking), and tells him to "have a good time" with Carolyn. They wake up in a parking lot to discover that they'd had sex, but both were too impaired to remember the act. So Hughes's hero endorses lying, under-age drinking, driving without a license, drunk driving, sex with the unconscious, and statutory rape.
In short, Jake Ryan is a fucking menace. And if there were a Seventeen Candles, and it were honestly done, we'd find a totally destroyed Samantha.