The Breakfast Club (1985) Film Review

I’ve been on a bit of John Hughes kick, so expect even more reviews of his movies after this one. The Breakfast Club is my second favorite flick of his, a beautiful film that really gets into the mind of the teenager without even an ounce of belittlement. It just is. It displays what they are in a way that shows they are more than just a bunch of kids reflected in the conversations they have and the unfortunate way Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason), the school assistant principal, views them all (which I think shows the way plenty of adults view teenagers). It follows five teenagers who are sitting Saturday detention together and all come from different backgrounds. The “criminal,” John Bender (Judd Nelson), “athlete,” Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), “brain,” Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), “basket case,” Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), “princess,” Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald). At least that’s what they are on an extremely superficial level.

It follows their time together on that Saturday that changed their lives, from having self-realizations and realizing how similar they truly are regardless of their clichés or stereotypes. To me, this is one of the defining movies about teenagers as were many of Hughes’ films and they have remained timeless to this day. He shows that everyone has similarities regardless of what they are labeled as. Everyone has problems and bad things that happen to them especially at a young age where we are nothing but confused as to what we are and want to identify with something. From the opening piece of narration by Anthony Michael Hall’s character to the finishing narration that completes said opening and the wonderful final shot as “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds plays, this movie is nothing but a delight.

It’s filled with plenty of comedic moments and in reality, most of the film takes place in one room which really shows the talent in this film. It relied solely on the actors and the writing, and it just works so well. Each actor plays their role to perfection especially Judd Nelson who is always the standout in this film as the stubborn punk/rebel. If anything, this is another prime example of how much Hughes’ understands teenagers and wanted to show the world that they are real human beings, not just a bunch of dumb kids. Sure, they may do stupid things but plenty of adults are just as bad as said teenagers. Overall, people are different but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the same in many ways, that’s the true key to this film, everyone has problems even if they are a criminal, athlete, brain, basket case, or a princess, labels just make them seem to be something they aren’t.

5/5 stars.


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