Last night some friends and I watched Sixteen Candles and Dirty Dancing . Yep, it was a pretty awesome evening. Yet one very important question could not be settled among the three of us.
Who is the better love interest? Johnny Castle or Jake Ryan?
So I laid out the pros and cons of both.
- Jake Ryan picks up a letter Sam intended for someone else that explicitly says she wants to sleep with him. Yet he tells no one and at no point mocks her. These are major gentlemanly qualities: Points: +8
- In the 25+ years since the movie came out what’s fashionable now is basically a 1984 redux. This means that Jake’s tight jeans, patterned shirts, and J. Crew/J. Peterman-esque boots are pretty hip in 2011: Points: +11
- Jake is a supposedly a deep guy. At least that’s what we’re led to believe. As a senior he is tired of a girlfriend who only parties and wants a “real relationship.” As a former high school girl I say what? As a movie-watcher I say bring it. Points: +13
- When Jake decides he wants to get to know Sam better he picks up the phone and calls her. Nevermind that IMing, texting, or emailing weren’t options then. A for effort, Jake. Points: +14
- *Spoiler Alert* Jake Ryan rescues a forgotten Sam from her sister’s disastrous wedding! But really, it’s so much more than that. He put the knight-in-white-shining fantasy to bed and replaced it with an All-American-hottie in a red Porsche rescue that is still talked about today. Points: +25
- Jake encourages a freshman he barely knows to take his own girlfriend home because she is “too blitzed” to know the difference. Luckily Anthony Michael Hall is a pretty good guy who only props her up for a Polaroid, but the fact that Jake wouldn’t make sure his passed out GF gets home okay isn’t okay. Points: -35
- Let’s face it, Jake Ryan doesn’t say anything interesting throughout the movie. Guys, I get a feeling that he is BO-RING and is a pretty face sans a personality. Points: -10
- I’ve been to fair share of raucous high school parties but never in my life have I seen a house so wrecked as Ryan’s. He seems a little too unconcerned for me, though, which makes me question his sense of responsibility in life. Points -8
Points: 71 - 53 = 18 TOTAL
- As far as film names go you have to admit that they don’t get much better than Johnny Castle. Points: +6
- A street kid turned hip-shaker, Johnny Castle has some serious moves. More than that though, he is one dedicated dancer dude. When he and Baby need to work on their lifts but his keys are locked in his car, he takes wood to window and breaks into the passenger side so they can practice duck-walking log and then the big finale the water. Points: +8
- When asked who is responsible for Penny post her botched abortion, Johnny steps up, even though that means that Baby’s father thinks he got Penny in trouble. At no point does Johnny tell her dad the truth because he is a proud man. Points: +14
- When Robby, the Ayn-Rand-loving sleazebag says he “got with the wrong sister” in front of Penny, who he actually impregnated but then did nothing to help, Johnny gives that Ivy League trained turd a beat down that is part Grease and part A Bronx Tale. Kudos, Mr. Castle. Points: +21
- Although fired from Kellerman’s Johnny returns anyway during the resort’s final show. He says the line of the movie (“Nobody puts Baby in the corner”), interrupts the really lame closing song, performs the best dance number of any 1987 movie, leaps into the audience, and single-handedly gets a bunch of stuffy rich people grinding. Need I say more? Points: +60
- He uses the term “cuz.” Um, no. Points: -3
- The day after Baby loses her virginity to Johnny they run into each other while visiting Penny at the same time. Given the fact that he’s older and more experienced he should have made the situation more comfortable for Baby. Instead he is mostly stand-offish, which clearly makes Baby wonder if she was a one-night thing like the old ladies he makes extra money from. Points: -13
- Baby jeopardizes her relationship with her dad to score $250, which is like $1000 today, for Penny’s abortion. Yet when she offers it up Johnny complains that it must be hard to “go to daddy.” She was just trying to help, Johnny. Points: -16
Points: 109 - 32 = 77 TOTAL
There is a surprisingly wide gap between Johnny and Jake’s arbitrary point totals but the winner is: Johnny!
And with that I end with these wise words from Sixteen Candle’s Sam: ”It’s really human of you to listen to all my bullshit.”