It’s there that she longs to talk to Jake, but is too shy to approach him. She also finds herself warding off the advances of an amorous geeky freshman who goes by Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall). Hall pretty much steals the show with his over the top antics as he tries to prove to his friends that he is a stud around girls. Look for John Cusack in a small role as one of Farmer Ted’s friends. Hughes does a great job of capturing the essence of being a teenager. He captures all the awkwardness of trying to get the attention of someone you like, of feeling too old to hang out with your family but being too young to be totally independent, and of being forced into situations you don’t want to be in. It’s all stuff that as an adult we realize wasn’t all that big of deal, but back then it meant everything.
Coupled with the relatability of the characters are many hilarious jokes and funny situations. Keep a look out for what’s going on in the background, such as a small kid attempting to wrestle a guy three times his size, or the kid at the dance who would rather be home with his parents. John Cusack’s sister Joan also has a funny appearance as a girl who has to awkwardly get through her days wearing a back brace (presumably for scoliosis). Not only is it funny, it’s also a subtle reminder that despite all of Samantha’s insecurities about her looks and her social status, she doesn’t have to deal with anything that bad. All of this works very well for the first half of the movie. The funniness seems to taper off in the second half after the school dance. The story gets bogged down with the romance angle. Still, it’s a well-made comedy, with Molly Ringwald giving a fine performance as an average teen dissatisfied with her averageness. Though the movie has ‘80s written all over it, the story holds up well even today.
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p VC-1 encoded 1.85:1 transfer. Digital noise reduction appears to have been used extensively to remove pretty much all of the natural film grain from the picture. I'm not a huge fan of grain reduction, and it's not great here. The picture doesn't necessarily look bad, but it’s bland. The detail is not nearly as sharp as it could be. The somewhat washed-out colors don't exactly pop off the screen. As I said, it's not terrible, but it’s certainly nothing special. The sound is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1. Surrounds are utilized most effectively for the loud music at the school dance and some light ambient sounds like crickets chirping. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. Overall, the soundtrack is not spectacular, but everything works fine for the film.