Study Guide

Sixteen Candles What's Up With the Ending?

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What's Up With the Ending?

Make a Wish

At the end of the movie, Sam finally gets her wish. Well, almost. Early on, Sam and Randy joke about the perfect sixteenth birthday.

SAM: Since I was about twelve I've been looking forward to my sweet sixteen. You know, a big party and a band, tons of people…

RANDY: …and big TransAm in the driveway with a ribbon around it…and some incredibly gorgeous guy that you meet like in France, and you could do it on a cloud without getting pregnant or herpes.

Sam doesn't get a car. And Jake, her gorgeous guy isn't from France. But as far as we know she doesn't get pregnant or herpes, so: win.

Being a romantic comedy, we're supposed to believe that Sam and Jake are going to be happily ever after. There are a few lines in the movie that push this fantasy, too. Jake acts like he'll be upgrading from Caroline to someone more serious.

JAKE: I want a serious girlfriend. Somebody I can love that's gonna love me back.

Or at least until the end of the school year, when Jake graduates high school and moves away to college, leaving Sam behind.

Even Sam's Dad perpetuates the happily ever after myth during his otherwise-strong dad talk with Sam when he apologizes for forgetting her birthday.

DAD: You know when you're given things kind of easily you don't always appreciate them. With you I'm not worried. And when it happens to you, Samantha, it'll be forever.

Let's be real. Sam and Jake are only "forever" if your definition of "forever" is "until Jake trades Sam for another girl's underwear."

With underwear on the brain (ew), that brings us to the ending of other characters. Sam's older sister, Ginny, finally gets married, although she's high on muscle relaxers and stumbles through the entire ceremony. Plus, the Geek sleeps with Caroline while she's passed out, but she swears she liked it.

CAROLINE: Yeah. But you know what I liked best?

THE GEEK: My clean close shave?

CAROLINE: No. Waking up in your arms.

Ugh, it's like John Hughes had Bill Cosby has a co-writer. This is a movie in which two shady guys get girls by nefarious means, and the movie casts it as a happy ending. Instead of happily ever after, this is happily never after…at least for the young ladies involved.

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