The Best Coming-of-Age Movies of All Time

13. Sixteen Candles (1984)

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling, Anthony Michael Hall

Truthfully, we should most identify with Anthony Michael Hall's accurately nicknamed “The Geek” in Sixteen Candles, one of writer-director John Hughes' best movies. Throughout the film, Hall's character habitually tries to score with his crush, Samantha (Molly Ringwald, solidifying her '80s dream girl status here), until, in an awesome moment of nerdy triumph, Samantha lends The Geek a pair of her panties for him to show off to his friends. It's a delightful payoff for a dude who's not unlike most of us back in grades nine through twelve.

Whenever we reflect on Sixteen Candles, though, all sentiments and fondness point right towards Samantha, due to Ringwald's tender performance, a showcase of adorable sweetness and sympathetic vulnerability. Rightfully so, Ringwald's Sixteen Candles' role has become the poster-girl for the prolific '80s teen comedy genre. Like the movie's top geek would be, we're not mad at that. MB

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