Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 7, 2009 11:38AM

The Perfect Ending- Sweet Sixteen Forever- John Hughes

Rate: 11 Flag

As an avid John Hughes' films fan, you would think it would be hard to choose just one favorite sceen, but it is not.  My all-time favorite scene is the sweet sixteen kiss at the end of "Sixteen Candles."  My oldest daughter would disagree.  Every boyfriend she has ever had was measured by a sliding scale of the dedication and devotion of the Duck man in "Pretty in Pink."  She played the scene where Duckie Dale (Jon Cryer) dances to the song "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding- over and over again- until she wore out our VHS tape. 

"The Breakfast Club" about teens stuck at school during a Saturday detention, is another favorite.  As many John Hughes' films do, "The Breakfast Club" will teach you an important life lesson- never stereo-type others.  Brian Johnson's (Anthony Michael Hall) answer to the question of who do you think you are- says it all, "You see us as you want to see us...in the simplest terms...you see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal."  My favorite scene is when the teens are running through the halls-trying to get back to the library before they get caught- and they slide around a corner to find the principal drinking at a water fountain.  Al though, the scene where the lunchmeat is thrown in the air and sticks to the top of a statue for a few brief moments- would be a close second.  Rebellious!

"Some Kind of Wonderful" is one that you have not seen unless John Hughes is your hero, and adolescent angst is your favorite genre- but it is still one of the best.  Who would not sympathize with a girl who loves a boy so much that she is willing to help him romance another girl- the girl of his dreams?  My favorite is suprisingly not the triumphant final scene, when Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) gets the diamond earrings, but the beginning scenes of just her hands and feet playing the drums- setting the rhythm for the entire film.  Phenomenal.

You have seen "Mr. Mom," "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Uncle Buck," "Home Alone," or "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and you laughed throughout- but you may not have seen, "She's Having a Baby."  For every woman who would like to understand how a man thinks, I recommend it.  Because of the hospital scene when a drop of blood hits the floor, as Kristy Briggs (Elizabeth Govern) is wielded to the emergency room for a C-section, I always cry when I hear Kate Bush's song, "This Woman's Work."  Her lyrics, "oh it's hard on the man, now his part is over..." echoes Jake's (Kevin Bacon) woe as he finds himself growing into a marriage, a mortgage, and backed into fatherhood -his head hangs low, helpless in the waiting room.  Brilliant.

Why is the final scene of "Sixteen Candles" my favorite?  Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) is a real trooper when her family (so wrapped up in her sister's wedding) forgets her sixteenth birthday, she is forced to take a strange foreign exchange student to her high school dance, and she is hit on by a geek (Anthony Michael Hall.)  No one will ever forget Gedde Watanabe, as Long Duk Dong, the foreign exchange student.  By the end of the movie, everyone- including the geek Sam gave her panties to- wants to see Sam get Jake (Michael Schoeffling).  In the final scene, Sam and Jake are sitting on a glass table.  Sam is still wearing her bridesmaid's dress, as they lean toward each other over sixteen glowing candles on a belated birthday cake.  You remember what Sam's father said, "When it happens to you, Sam, it will be the real thing," as their lips meet- then the credits begin to roll- while a beautiful song plays- the perfect ending- suspended in time- forever.  It get's me everytime.  Genius!  Timeless. 

You truly understand and have mastered the essence of the human condition.  We are eternally grateful and will miss you, John Hughes.



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This is an Open Call response, for fellow John Hughes fans.
Great tribute.. I love all his films. Mostly the Sixteen candles, Breakfast club, all of them in that group, that came out when we were in high school. Many lessons were learned by them, my girls even love them.
Great tribute. I wanted to name my son Dale so I could call him Duckie...
Nope. I've gotta go with Watts' moment of triumph.

MSM's teary-eyed, blind stumble down the street just before he wises up? They gut me. Every time.
I, too, love John Hughes films. I'm not embarassed to admit I read the National Enquirer, but I'm embarassed to admit that.
Congrats on the your first Editors Pick and Front Cover.. AYAYAYAY!!
Editor's Pick, What an honor! I think I scared people in the neighborhood with my scream of excitement.
Indie- That's sweet...but your son would have had a lot to live up to. How many times a day did Duckie ride by Andie's house? He was the ultimate friend.

Verbal Remedy- Good point. A great scene.

Havlin- There is nothing embarrassing about being a John Hughes fan! (High school and adolescence is something we all had to survive.)
One of my best memories is of taking my then Jr. High aged daughter to see Some Kind of Wonderful on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have been in love with Mary Stuart Masterson ever since.

Congrats on the EP!
congrats... very cool. I, personally am a pariah here on OS. Kerry finds me disgusting apparently. but that's ok, I have a lot of friends and readers :)
Ame- They are timeless aren't they?

It is interesting to read how everyone else experienced John Hughes' films. I'm loving it! Thanks, Cap'n.
You certainly do, Trig!
Ferris Buller baby...but I couldn't just pick one scene
I loved the ending of Sweet Sixteen as well...this is a post that pays great honor and respect to John Hughes. Yes, he will be missed. Thank you!
Thank you, Brian and Mary- and Verbal Remedy for putting the "h" back in "triumph" were it belongs (missing from "triumphant" in paragraph three).
Funny, when I knew John back in his Chicago days, he seemed to have no interest in teens. At least he didn't express it in his magazine writing. Guess he was saving it for the big screen.

Took me back to high school and all my crushes on . . . well, mostly on that one girl. And of course, Samantha Baker (or was that Molly Ringwald with whom I fell in love?). Well written! :-)