Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bridesmaid Revisited- Sixteen Candles

When you think Sixteen Candles, you don't immediately think bridesmaid.  You think Jake Ryan, red car, birthday wish.  We'll get there, I promise.

But first, let's talk about poor Samantha Baker.  Being a bridesmaid in her bratty sister's wedding is the least of her worries.  She doesn't have any curves, she's not one of the cool kids, a geek wants to borrow her underwear, her grandma felt her boobs, her secret crush might know she likes him, and worst of all, her entire family forgot her sixteenth birthday. 

So you really can't blame her for not playing the most doting bridesmaid.  Although all of the scenes with Sam and Ginny are some of the funniest wedding moments in any movie.  Like when Sam is trying to talk to Ginny as she primps for hours on end.
"I really love Rudy. He is totally enamored of me. I mean, I've had men who've loved me before, but not for six months in a row."

Or when Ginny takes a handful of muscle relaxers and stumbles through the ceremony only to be shoved in the car by her mobster husband.  And as she rides away and the guests begin to leave, there he is.  Jake Ryan and his red porsche. 

In the past 10 years or so, Disney Princesses have gotten a bad rap for giving girls unrealistic expectations of love.  I take a lot of offense to this because 1) I LOVE Disney and 2) I don't have unrealistic expectations of relationships.  What's that?  I write a blog dedicated to acting like real life is a movie?  Hmm.

But if we really wanted to place blame, I think we know where to look.  Jake Ryan.  And his car.  And his hands in his pockets.  And his cute smile.  If Sam can go from a  flat chested fifteen year old "disease" to a sixteen year old babe kissing the hottest guy in school . . . there's hope for all of us, right?

I've been reading a collection of Nora Ephron's essays on women from the 70's and she brings up an interesting point about  society's changing view and expectation of women.  She argues that no matter what changes in the future we will always have fairy tales telling us that someday our prince will come.  "After liberation we will still have to reckon with Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella."  And Jake Ryan.
When I first watched Sixteen Candles, I was sixteen years old, and it was sixteen years after its initial release.  I absolutely adored it- and I would recommend to any girl who loves a happy ending.  Even if we still wear an A cup, and no one has ever showed up in their red porsche to save us from a dismal wedding reception, I still believe we will all get our birthday wish- whether we're sixteen or sixty.

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