Molly Ringwald’s tortured teen angst in Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club… Sean Penn’s wise beyond his “whoa” one-liners in Fast Times At Ridgement High, Marty McFly’s epic trip in a Delorean in Back To The Future, Tony Montana’s greeting about his “little friend” in Scarface.. all are iconic movie moments and images that those of us who grew up in the 80′s will never forget. Even younger generations are familiar with the characters, dialog and storylines of these classic films as they struck relatable chords about love, friendship, family, and the American dream that are truly timeless.
Universal Pictures 100th Anniversary will be marked by a one of kind film festival showcasing these classic 80’s films at the historic Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood beginning this week and running through mid-Dec. The fest will offer two double features (Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club on the 16th), (Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Back to the Future on Nov. 23) and one lengthy classic that really needs to be screened all on its own: Scarface on Dec. 7th. Tickets for the Festival priced at 80′s-inspired $5-$8 per show and are on sale now.
Grauman’s will also showcase costumes, ephemera and photography from each of these films in the main theatre lobby and a photo gallery for the duration of the Festival, all provided by Universal Studios Archives & Collections. In honor of the enduringly beloved movies, HSS will be taking a look back at each film before its screening, recalling what was “totally awesome” (as they said the in 80′s) about the characters, dialog and story lines, and their impact and reflection of the times. This week: John Hughes’ romantic take on adolescence and the magic of every-girl Molly Ringwald.
John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles (1984) is coming of age story about a sweet sixteen dealing with all the stuff 16-year-old girls deal with: crushes, geeks, family… It really captures the excitement of first love/lust and the awkwardness of high school, which of course, Hughes always had a talent for. Even after all these years, we still get heart flutters when “Jake Ryan” is on screen! After his wild party, all the Long Duck Dong laughs, nerdy hijinx of Anthony Michael Hall and the luded-up wedding scene, it’s the ending –when Jake actually ends up returning Samantha’s affections– that make this little film a female fantasy come true for all ages. The brooding yet chill Matt Dillon-esque appeal of Jake was so right-on, that the name alone became slang for the perfect BF and pubs ranging from the Washington Post to countless relationship blogs everywhere have pondered his archetype and the yearning it inspired. This was the 80′s teen’s answer to Cinderella.
Totally Awesome-est scene: The ending with the cake (and the kiss), duh!
Hughes follow-up, The Breakfast Club (1985) was more melodramatic, but it rang almost as true, character-wise. Everyone knew a bad boy, jock, prissy princess, and freak at their high school and getting them all together in one room would surely yield some fun antics, fictional or otherwise. We had just started high school ourselves when this one came out and despite the corny moments, we remember everyone LOVING it. It was like the film truly spoke for and to kids, not how adults thought we were. So it actually makes sense that this one is overly dramatic… teenagers are overly dramatic.
Totally Awesome-est scene: Again, the ending, featuring Hall’s closing monologue (the essay they were to be writing in detention the whole time). We see all the kids getting picked up, except for Judd Nelson’s Bender and he walks away to the tune that sort of became the anthem for teen-dom: that unforgettable Simple Minds track, “Don’t You Forget About Me.” And here’s what the essay read:
“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us…In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…an athlete…a basket case…a princess…and a criminal…Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”