It’s shameful, but I had never watched The Breakfast Club before. I know it’s a classic film, and one I would almost certainly enjoy. It was always on the list, but never at the top. Well I finally got round to it, and I was intrigued how it would hold up being viewed in 2019.
The answer is simple, brilliantly. I recently watched the Netflix series Sex Education, and I loved it for its brilliant written, well acted and enticing real characters. The Breakfast Club and Sex Education are, at their core, about the same thing; Growing up and dealing with prejudice. They may be separated by 34 years, but people are still people, and that is what the two are both about.
The Breakfast Club is about a group of teenagers, all attending detention on a saturday because of one reason or another. Each character, at a glance, fits into one of your preconceived stereotypes that you have growing up, and even as adults we have them. Director/writer John Hughes then proceeds to tear down those stereotypes and shows how everyone has their own struggles, regardless of how different the projections we put out into the world are.
I can only imagine what this film and Sixteen Candles/Ferris Bueller did for teenagers and young adults in the 80s and early 90s. The way the characters relationships to each other develop over the course of the ninety minute run time is in itself relatable. I remember being at school, lumped in groups with people I didn’t think I fitted in with, and end up being friends with them, some of them I count as my closest friends. This intense character focused film still allows itself to have a lot of fun, with some good laughs and even if the popular culture references were lost on me, I appreciated that is purely down to my age.
It’s rare for there to be all round good performances in such a young cast, but John Hughes manages to get a good tune out of every member of his band. Films like this often focus on one or two characters, but here everyone has their moment. In the same way I praise Avengers Infinity War for giving so many characters a great hero moment, The Breakfast Club gives all of the characters a real moment. There is a moment with each one where something is shown that makes them intimately relatable, and I can’t explain why that is entertaining, but it really is. Perhaps it’s a satisfaction derived from seeing yourself in the characters on-screen, perhaps it’s just the comfort of being told everyone is just as fucked up as you are.
This is a shorter review, but it’s only because I don’t want to over hype the film to the point where people find it disappointing when they watch it for the first time. I think its important to understand this films relevance in cinematic history and the impacts it has had on so many of our favourite shows, even right up to last month’s Sex Education. The style and references may have changed (although the 80s are slowly creeping back), but this film has a timeless quality that I don’t think it will ever lose.
Good: All of it.
Bad: None of it.
10/10 – Don’t worry, We won’t forget about this.