Study Guide

Sixteen Candles Lust

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On the surface, teenage crushes seem cute and innocent. But they're controlled by only one thing: raging hormones. We may say we like someone, love someone, or, most serious of all, like like someone. But we really mean that other l-word: lust.

The teens in Sixteen Candles are no different. Sam declares her love (i.e. lust) for Jake Ryan on something called a "sex test" and the Geek can hardly keep it in his pants. By "it," we of course mean his roll of breath mints. Fresh breath is a priority in his life.

Questions About Lust

  1. Why is the Geek attracted to Sam? Why is Jake attracted to Sam? Do they like her for he same reasons?
  2. Which character is most controlled by his or her hormones? How does that person act?
  3. How long will Sam and Jake's relationship last?
  4. Does Sam's feelings for Jake remind you of your own high school crush(es)?

Chew on This

The characters in this movie might be ruled by their hormones, but John Hughes understands this is normal for teenagers, so he doesn't punish them for it. He rewards them in the end.

That doesn't stop Hughes from treating their behaviors, like the Geek's desperation, in comedic ways, however. It can be difficult to tell if he respects his subjects, is making fun of them, or both.

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