Today: May 15, 2024

The Breakfast Club

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club is still the quintessential teen comedy. While many filmmakers have tried to capture that awkward, difficult oh so frustrating period where you are no longer a child and not quite an adult few have managed to find Hughes’ complex blend of comedy and smart observation.

Its intelligence comes from presenting us with five, on the surface clichéd high school stereotypes. The athlete; Emilio Estevez’s wonderful blend of moralistic jock mixed with frustrated angst, the brain; Anthony Michael Hall’s awkward, almost Hughes like avatar, the princess; played with aching levels of vanity and hidden insecurities by Molly Ringwald, the head case; Ally Sheedy injecting a wonderful sense of eccentricities and happiness with her lot in life and Judd Nelson’s conflicted criminal who is determined to stick to his stereotype in the face of painful adversity. And then, with funny and emotional pathos, filtering them through the slow boiling environment of a Saturday morning detention, into the reality of who these people really are.

Hughes isn’t interested in examining the stereotypes; he’s interested in dissecting the cruel politics and pressures of high school. These kids are all vulnerable, all suffering from insecurities and all masking them with identities assigned to them by negative influences like peer-pressure, teachers and parents. They all laugh, they all bleed and we bask in knowing that we weren’t the only ones who felt like this both then and even now.

Of course it birthed the Brat-pack but The Breakfast Club didn’t just introduce the world to a new generation of actors. It broke the mold on Hollywood teenage angst. These characters, like the film itself, are never what they appear on the surface, they’re textured, nuanced and real. From moments of brilliant humour; witness as each individual unpacks their lunch, to scenes that will have you welling up with sympathy and brutal familiarity as to how the rollercoaster ride of high school and coming-of-age impact us all.

Like last year’s Boyhood The Breakfast Club taps into a universality of these emotions. Each character is frustrated by the assumptions made of them yet they know it’s also what defines them, what sets them apart from others and makes them, in their own unique ways, who they are. Will they all be friends on Monday morning? Almost certainly not, this was a pause in time, a moment of where they could be the inner voice inside telling them they’re faking it. And it’s for this reason that Hughes’ film has such staying power, because whether at school, in the office, within the family or friendship dynamic we know we have to play certain parts even if it pains us to do so.

More than just nostalgia The Breakfast Club is a cinematic rights-of-passage that will make you laugh and cry simultaneously. Punch the air, freeze frame, Don’t You Forget About Me – Not a chance.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

Previous Story

Predestination

Next Story

PREDESTINATION

Latest from Blog

Memory

Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Harry Wild Unboxing

TV royalty Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) is the star of this latest slice of comforting ‘cosy crime’, following a literature professor who teams up with a wayward teen to solve

Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker Unboxing

Described in the blurb as “the most joltingly violent, psychosexual grindhouse shocker of the ‘80s”, the delightfully-titled Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker makes its worldwide 4K UHD debut with this magnificent release from

Magnum P.I. Complete Collection Unboxing

Airing from 2018 to earlier this year, the slick and stylish Magnum P.I. reboot saw Jay Hernandez filling Tom Selleck’s loafers for 96 explosive episodes across five seasons. With a hugely likeable
Go toTop

Don't Miss

Beethoven

Bottom line: The original feel-good shaggy-dog story. Rating: 4/5. Cast:

John Hughes 5-Movie Collection

Think of 1980s teen cinema. Chances are, you’ll be thinking