“The Breakfast Club” (1985) – the review

Release date: 02/07/1985
Genre: comedy/drama
Director: John Hughes
Writer: John Hughes
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall,  Ally Sheedy, Paul Gleason, John Kapelos


“And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations.
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

– Changes

David Bowie

 Hello, everyone. Today will be the second review, but this time for the movie that I like. This movie is the best (in my opinion) movie of John Hughes, and he is not an unsuccessful director. This film has much more philosophical and social contents then you could think of description or movie trailer. John Hughes showed himself like a great psychologist, in this film he has described most common types of teenagers. And this movie has a status of a cult movie from the teenager’s movies (especially in the USA). But let’s not hurry with that, I will write about that consistently.

The storyline is very simple at the first look. Five high school students were punished for their offenses, and they must spend full Saturday sitting in the library, writing an essay on the theme “who am I”. They have different stories, they from different teenager’s groups, their offenses are different. But spending full day they became a team because no one likes Mr. Vernon, their teacher, and curator of their Saturday. But a little bit later I will explain you, why this movie is not so simple, but really great.

 It is very strange, that from the full list of actors who were involved in this film, only Emilio Estevez came to be a real star. Molly Ringwald was famous after this and few next John Hughes films, but her career was descended very quick (some Hollywood experts thinks that type of her characters came to Julia Roberts), and last 20 years she takes part only in b-category movies. Also, she and Anthony Michael Hall were the only actors, who were a teenager at the time of making the movie (they both were 17 years old, other actors were from 23 till 26 years).

Warning: there will be a lot of spoilers, so if you didn’t seen this film and you want to do it, don’t read text downstairs.

Let’s talk about characters.

Andrew Clark (The Athlete) – most interesting character in my opinion. He trapped there because he had wrapped with a scotch tape the weak hairy guy. It was very painful to take off this tape from the skin. It looks like an act of average teenager-sportsman, who want to harm someone who weakest then himself. But it is not so simple.

He made it not because he wanted to have a joy, he made it because he wants to be such son like his father wanted. His father was the sportsman in his young years and pressed his son to be the same as his father.

Andrew trying to teach everyone what they should do, and he didn’t confess until the end of the film that he has problems with his parents. He even doesn’t want to be a wrestler, he training, taking part in competitions just for his father. In his soul, he is directly opposite to the character that he trying to show everyone.

 Claire Standish (The Princess) – the future queen of the school prom, the girl from the very rich family. She is a typical “most popular girl” in the school. She thinks that everyone loves her, and she trying to look cool. She shows to everyone that she is modest, but like the most part of girls, her vagina came to be wet when she saw a real bad guy. From the moment when she saw the rude behavior of Bender, she always looked to him with interest. Such girls very often come to be a young single mother, or wife of drunker, with 4-5 kids.

She got this “penalty Saturday” because she had skipped the lessons and spent these time shopping. And she thinks that she is not deserved this punishment. Also, she thinks that her life is very hard and she feels great pressure in her life. Her parents hate each other, but they try to compensate the lack of care by spending huge money on their kids. And she follows the unofficial rules of her environment.

 John Bender (The Criminal) – the local bully, son of unsuccessful parents, the person which everyone hates. His behavior is usual for guys like he, he feel himself a rebel, young lawbreaker. From the beginning of the film, he began enmity with Andrew, the sportsmen. And there is no weird because in one little space were met two male, who wants to be alpha males. Andrew even kicked his ass, but John, like an average bandit, said that he didn’t use his full strength, or he would kill Andrew using his full potential (and like each bandit in such situation he lied, he just didn’t want to look weak). He thinks that his friends not similar to other people, and no one has a right to tell anything bad about them.

The main reason why everyone hates John, it’s because he always telling the truth about other people, looking to their faces. Everybody thinks that he is an idiot, but he just doesn’t want to be like them. He is a metal fan, like each young bandit from 80th.

 Brian Johnson (The Brain) -the guys who have excellent scores, but is not adapted to life in society. All his life contains learning and making everything that his parents will tell him. He is weak, he scared to talk with girls, but he always trying to show everyone how clever he is. He is always telling everyone some facts or academic knowledge, even when no one wants to hear it.

He looks like dreams of all parents, but he is very unhappy in his life. Like Andrew, he did the best to be such son. like his parents want. And when he got B score (all his scores A or A+) he decided to make the suicide. Because of this attempt, he spent his Saturday in the Library with other offenders.

Allison Reynolds (The Basketcase) – the local crazy. A typical example of an outcast of society, she doesn’t have friends, her parents are quite strange too (concluding from how they behave with her). She thinks that her problems are bigger than problems of anyone else, and she wants to sure everyone thinks that she wants to run away from her parents. She trying to show everyone that she is a slut, drunker, and thief. But she is very weak when someone talks about her real problems.

But she the only person who not try to smoke a marihuana, when Bender had proposed (even Andrew, who was against this idea take a part in that, because of his herd instinct too strong). She has done nothing to get this penalty, she just too weird. And sometimes she looks more adequate and smart than everyone else in this group. At the end of the movie author shown that she became normal, even found the boyfriend.

 Mr. Richard Vernon – the teacher who responded for all this even. He thinks that he is a strong leader, clever man, and nice guy. But he is a jerk, with inflated ambitions, and he rude like a Bender. He breaking the school rules, when he wants, threaten students, when he decides that his authority is under the threat, and he just an old man, who forgot how to be young.

And he even didn’t get an essay, that he commanded to do to students.

There also a few characters, Carl – the janitor, who knows everything about each student or teacher; parents of main characters, but they are background characters (to honest, they brought very interesting details to the story, too).

Alison: when you grow up, your heart dies.
Bender: who cares?
Alison: I care

 Main characters don’t like each other, but they very quickly begin teamwork, because they like Mr. Vernen less than each other. When two “alpha” male gathering in the one group, they start to fight. When the smart guy can’t make a simple work, he beginning to show everyone how good he knows physics and trigonometry.

Almost every minute or detail of this movie has a lot of interesting events or psychological experiences. In this film, you can see the ways of interaction, that is taking place in each society, and these ways are more expressed among teenagers because they are not so skillful in hiding their emotions.

This movie is not a comedy about teenagers that fight against their parents and teachers, it is a movie about real society and real people with real problems. And I can write a book about this film, so, I’ll be finishing this review.

Also, I want to talk shortly about the soundtrack. The soundtrack is great, I’m not a fan of pop music, but each track is in the right place and brings atmosphere in the right moment.

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