Newly remastered for its Blu-ray bow, "Sixteen Candles" (1984, Universal, PG, $20) still resonates thanks to the timeless predicament of its heroine Samantha (Molly Ringwald), a high-schooler dealing with a geeky freshman (Anthony Michael Hall), annoying siblings (Blanche Baker, Justin Henry), parents who can't remember her 16th birthday and a crush (Wilkes-Barre native Michael Schoeffling) who, at least initially, doesn't know she exists.
When the John Hughes-directed "Sixteen Candles" was first released, it was Hall who netted the lion's share of the attention for his fast-talking turn as a would-be player. (Among his posse is a very young John Cusack).
Hall's performance is still very funny, but the film's other stabs at comedy have dated badly. It's really the soulfulness of Ringwald and Schoeffling's performances that make "Sixteen Candles" an unforgettable delight. For about a decade after "Sixteen Candles," Schoeffling (a dead-ringer for Matt Dillon) worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Cher and Winona Ryder ("Mermaids"), Bernadette Peters ("Slaves of New York") and Madonna ("Vision Quest").
Then after shooting "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" in 1991, he retired from acting. According to Wikipedia, Schoeffling lives in Newfoundland, Pa., where he owns and operates a handcrafted furniture store. Regardless of what he's up to these days, "Sixteen Candles" continues to burn brightly.
Nearly 30 years after its release, it is the quintessential coming-of-age comedy.
Amy Longsdorf writes about DVD and Blu-Ray releases with local connections.