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At the Movies: "Sixteen Candles"
BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer

"SIXTEEN CANDLES" is a youth movie that somehow succeeds despite its multiple excesses.

The paper-thin plot centers on Samantha and her miserable day: Her parents forget her 16th birthday; her bust refuses to grow; she is pestered at the high school prom by a wimp called The Geek; she is overlooked by the handsome boy she adores from afar.

John Hughes wrote and directed "Sixteen Candles" with a flair for slapstick and touching scenes. The truce between Samantha and the Geek is sweet and funny, as is a late-night father-daughter talk.

But most of the parents are nitwits, the grandparents are certifiable nerds and the teen-agers rarely escape stereotype.

The music is laid on with a trowel: the "Dragnet" music for portentous moments, "The Godfather" theme for a Mafia family.

Molly Ringwald, who played John Cassavetes' daughter in "The Tempest," is endearing as the beleaguered Samantha, despite some overly vulgar dialogue. Anthony Michael Hall is totally winning as The Geek _ he's a teen-age Jack Lemmon.

The rating is PG, with brief shower nudity, pot smoking and boozing by the teen-agers and rough language.