Sixteen Candles Retro-Revival
When I was 13, I was obsessed with Sixteen Candles. When I say obsessed, I don’t mean I watched it every once in a while with my girlfriends; I mean I recorded it with my VCR and would run home to watch it after school almost EVERYDAY, while I ate my Bugles or Hostess snacks (anything that hasn’t been banned from the snack aisle today and is now considered contraband). Sometimes I would make French bread pizzas with non-organic mozzarella and canned tomato sauce, which is pretty much as revered as smoking these days. I was a real rebel, can’t you tell?
My Indian parents didn’t like me watching nonsense movies like it. They pretended I was still into the Disney Princesses, so I had to be sneaky about it. They both worked and my grandfather was on watch, which meant I had putty in my hands, while I watched it. He never asked me what I was watching and I never volunteered it. We were on a don’t-ask, don’t-tell basis.
I dreamed I was John Hughes’ muse instead of Molly Ringwald. Boy, was she a lucky duck. She’s a teen icon thanks to him. Typecast, yes, but she will always be remembered by teens of the late 80s and early 90s. No director or actress in teen or tween movies these days has ever been able to rival them. Movies like She’s All That and 10 Things I Hate About You tried and were good, but will never be teen, cult classics.
Daydreaming while waiting for my daughter at preschool pick-up yesterday, I thought about what my daughter will watch when she’s a tween or teen. Will it still be Disney channel, made-for-TV movies about modern day princesses or singing athletes and brainiacs? Ugh. No, thank you. Then my mind wandered to what Sixteen Candles would be like, if they did a remake. This was a daydream that I tuned in and out of all day.
Pumped Up Kicks plays in the background of the opening credits. Teens in skinny jeans hold hands and walk into school. Some have tattoos, some have colored streaks of hair and others think the earring is supposed to be the same size as the stud.
You can’t tell the difference between the girls and the boys because they are wearing the same jeans and they both have boy bodies. There are mixed couples: gay, bi-sexual, interracial, you name it. John Hughes, Jr. needs to make sure that everyone knows teen couples come in all sexual orientations, colors and sizes. Think Michael Jackson’s Black or White music video, but with an edge.
Instead of 16, 17 and 18-year-olds, we have 13 and 14-year-olds. Centering the movie around High School Juniors and Seniors would no longer be PG-13, it would be R-rated or borderline X these days. Too Donnie Darko with a bunch of threesomes.
Instead of Molly Ringwald as Sam, we have a young Selena Gomez and her best friend is a lesbian Chloe Grace Moretz. Instead of passing a note in independent study, Sam responds to a private Facebook poll, but adds a young Taylor Kitsch, her Jake Ryan, by mistake. I said a young version because I think he is a perfect update. I can’t pick Tom Hardy because that would take away my Warrior fantasy of him.
When asked, “have you done it yet?” she answers, “I think so”. “It” being some sexual practice I would have to look up in the urban dictionary. Something that probably involves the words “horse” or “knob rocket” or something.
Molly Ringwald and Michael Schoeffling would play her parents because they’re both old farts now and no one is hiring them. Maybe just move everyone up a generation. Paul Dooley and Carlin Glynn would play Sam’s grandparents. Alec Baldwin would be the dirty, grandfather that feels up Sam’s boobies pre-boob job.
Some Asian newcomer would play The Geek and Long Duck Dong would now be an adopted foster child named Tricky Trickster or something, an Italian rapper played by a Sasha Baron Cohen poser. Sam wouldn’t have a sister; she would have a gay brother who takes too many Xanax at the wedding instead of muscle relaxers because he needs to ease his anxiety disorder.
Instead of getting drunk at Jake Ryan’s party, Tricky Trickster would take Ecstasy. Instead of The Geek waking up to beer cans everywhere, there would be Red Bull cans everywhere, half full of vodka. Caroline Mulford, played by Dakota Fanning in her first queen bitch role, would have her $800 weave cut-off instead of her real hair.
The rest of the soundtrack would be a mash-up of the songs from the original movie, filled in with rap verses and some emo and ambient sounds.
Hey John Hughes-wannabe, Jr., let’s make it happen! Hey McG, let’s make it happen!
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