Study Guide

Sixteen Candles Genre

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Teen Movie, Romantic Comedy

Teenage Dream

This movie isn't about a prom, but it is the queen of teen movies. Without Sixteen Candles we wouldn't have Clueless (girl navigating dating in high school), or Mean Girls (a wild house party that changes friendships). While there had been teen movies prior, they were raunchier and male oriented, like Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Porky's.

Sixteen Candles broke the mold by making it more of a romance instead of just a flick about guys trying to get some, although it has that too. And it cast a relatable teenage girl as the lead, instead of having women in the movie just to take their tops off…although it has that too.

With Sixteen Candles being popular among young ladies (women went to movies, even in the 1980s) the teen movie genre was split in two. There was still room for R-rated gross-out type movies, like American Pie. But for every Van Wilder there's a She's All That or 10 Things I Hate About You. And those movies have more than ten things to thank Sixteen Candles for.

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