The Breakfast Club

(1985)

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Movies That Made Us Critics: The Breakfast Club

Transcript for Movies That Made Us Critics: The Breakfast Club

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
My first choice is THE BREAKFAST CLUB, the “Brat Pack” classic from writer/director John Hughes.  He did a beautiful job of blending comedy and drama and defining the generation – well, at least it did if you grew up in the 80s like I did.  Five very different high school students are forced to spend a Saturday together in detention.  They all have preconceived ideas about each other and end up clashing.  Judd Nelson is “the rebel”, Emilio Estevez is “the jock,” Molly Ringwald is “the princess,” Ally Sheedy is “the loner,” and Anthony Michael Hall is, inevitably, “the geek.”

CLIP from THE BREAKFAST CLUB

CHRISTY:
During the day, they end up getting to know each other and forging a conspiratorial bond.  Here they sneak out of the library behind the back of their up-tight principal, played by Paul Gleeson.

CLIP from THE BREAKFAST CLUB

CHRISTY:
As time passes, they begin to feel comfortable enough to bare their souls, share their secrets, confess their fears, and – whatdoyouknow – become friends.

CLIP from THE BREAKFAST CLUB

CHRISTY:
The greatness of John Hughes’ writing is that he depicted high school not exactly as it was, but as we wished it could have been:  funnier, weirder, sweeter, full of kids who have just the right zinger, or poignant thing to say.  But THE BREAKFAST CLUB also taps into universal teen anxiety, the feeling that nobody understands you, that your problems are unique and insurmountable.  Hughes took that raw adolescent energy and ironic and idiotic, self-referential and self-deprecating.  THE BREAKFAST CLUB helped influence me as a critic because it spoke to me and inspired me to figure out my place in the world, even at age 13.