Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Douchebags Are Not Sexy, Folks Part II: Why Geek In SIXTEEN CANDLES Is An Epic Win

So. I love Sixteen Candles. If I were to explain why I love this film so much, this post would be ridiculously and annoyingly long. I shall spare you the pain. 

Instead, I'm here to carry on with a topic I hold dear: douchebags. I recently blogged about how they're not sexy to me in this post, using This Means War to illustrate my point (because seriously. TOM HARDY, folks. TOM. HARDY. Seriously). That movie had a pretty solid example of the douchebag in the love triangle. But unlike in Sixteen Candles, that douchebag was an epic fail for me. His change felt... forced. An excuse to get the girl. Dishonest. 

Then you have Geek.

Creeper extraordinaire, folks. Geek rides the school bus with our wonderful main character, Samantha Baker, and he's on the prowl. Big time. He harasses Sam every chance he gets. He smells her and asks stupid questions and stares at her like she's homemade lasagna. Sam isn't just irked by him, she finds him so pathetic that, at times, she laughs in his face. Geek might not be a fan of being ridiculed, but he's willing to set aside his ego to impress Sam. 

Then you find out he's no stranger to ridicule. 

His so-called friends (geeks as well) dare him to prove his manhood by hooking up with Sam. They ask him for her underwear as evidence of the hookup. Geek is under a lot of pressure. As the film goes on, you can see him about to break. You can see him doubt himself and question whether he should do everything in his power to snatch that underwear. 

That is, until he realizes one very important thing: Sam is a human being with feelings and fears and opinions. 

Geek has spent so much time forcing conversation upon Sam that he hasn't had the chance to actually talk to her. He's been pushing her away with his creepiness. But when she opens up about her sucky birthday and her crush on the school's most popular senior, Geek listens. Really, truly listens. They're both misfits. They're both having bad days. And they're both after things they think will never happen for them. Even though Geek retains his creepiness and obsession with All Things Sex, he chooses to help Sam (and later on, another girl) out. He chooses to prove to her that she's not delusional for crushing on that popular senior dude, and that she's worthy of greatness because she herself is great. She's worthy of the respect and attention she hasn't received on her sixteenth birthday. 

Why does he choose to do this? 

Because he genuinely believes it. He's not pretending to be someone he's not to impress her. He'd been hiding his sweet, caring nature all along. The douchebag was just a role he was trying to pull off. Unsuccessfully, but still.

So there you have it. Geek takes the cake for me. And it doesn't hurt that he's played by Anthony Michael Hall... *sigh*

Now tell me: have you seen Sixteen Candles? If so, what do you think of The Geek? Yay? Nay?


  1. lol. I loved 16 candles when I was a teen. It's been so long since I've seen it!

  2. See, this is a perfect example of a character who makes a change slowly, convincingly, and believably ... and may not end up perfect, but ends up a better person.

    Too bad more modern movies directors prefer to put eye candy on the screen, go for the cheap laughs, the cliche scenes, and spurn real character development.