Along with the regular marathon posts, I’ll be writing more articles that usually relate to that week’s film. Sixteen Candles is a John Hughes classic and rests alongside The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as his landmark films. But he also crafted a few lesser-known gems along the way. One of my favorite Hughes movies is Some Kind of Wonderful, which offers charming heart and grace that’s equal to his best works. It’s not considered with the others for several reasons:
- Hughes did not direct this movie.
- It’s lacking a signature ‘80s song.
A shy artist who works at a gas station, Keith can’t compete with fancy jocks like Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer) for Amanda. He’s also dealing with his father Cliff, who means well but fails to understand his artistic son. Watts is a tomboy who’s out of place among the cool kids at high school. Like she tells Keith, “The only things I care about in this goddamn life are me and my drums and you.”
Hughes writes nearly all the characters with affection, and even Amanda and Cliff have more layers than we expect. The one exception is Hardy, but anyone who’s gone through high school has met this guy. Keith is the stand-in for Hughes, but Watts is the winning character we root for until the wonderful end. Masterson never makes her a ‘80s caricature, and this heart makes this movie worth repeat visits.
“We're gonna bring this party up to a nice respectable level. Don't worry, we're not gonna hurt anyone. We're not even gonna touch 'em. We're just gonna make 'em cry a little, just by lookin' at 'em.” - DuncanIf nothing else, watching Hardy’s terrified expression when skinhead Duncan (Elias Koteas) arrives at his party is worth the running time. Koteas and his merry gang become unlikely pals with Keith and save the day when all seems lost. Some Kind of Wonderful is filled with excellent moments like this one and should move to the top of your must-see list.
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