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September 29, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Classic Film Review: The Breakfast Club (1984)

A Brain, an Athlete, a Basket Case, a Princess and a Criminal are all in school for weekend detention. None of them know each other; none of them needs to. From how they all dress, they know everything they need to about what they are like as people. Everything relevant, conveyed purely by sight.

The Breakfast Club is amazing. It offers a shattering look at high school politics and the destructiveness of stereotypes. It presents realistic characters sensitively. 24 years on, its message is still poignant. And this shit is funny. It’s pretty much got everything that a movie should have.

This is a movie to watch with friends. Preferably in some kind of homemade fort or something. It’s amazing how different people relate to different characters to different extents. Part of its appeal is the fact that afterwards you get to have big heart to heart about how high school was so shit, no matter who you were or who your friends were.

The film has aged well. Although the fashion is funny, this is to be expected, and nothing is out of place. Apart from the dance scene, which is hilarious enough to let slide.

My only complaint with this film is the ending. The ending is not realistic, which is a big let down from the subtlety of the relationships formed in the previous 90 minutes. But, The Breakfast Club was always intended as a teen movie, and I guess the teen movie ending is the unfortunate baggage that results from that. It does not seriously detract from the power of what precedes it.

The biggest question about this movie is not whether to recommend it; it is a classic for a reason, and that’s because it fucking rules. The question is who to recommend it to. Obviously those still in high school would benefit from seeing this, and just how superficial the roles they fill in their constructed social hierarchies are. But maybe part of the reason it is so powerful is that, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see how accurate it is, and it can only really be understood by those who have lived through it. It’s hard to say. Regardless, your life will be improved by having seen this movie.

Directed by John Hughes


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