- Gareth Crook
The Breakfast Club (1985)
More 80s nostalgia tonight, but the authentic kind. The Breakfast Club might not be classic cinema, high art or even important. It never pretended to be... even with the Bowie quote from ‘Changes’ in the opening. It’s pure pop culture. Typical coming of age stuff, typical perhaps if you’re American. Growing up in England, watching this in the 80s, these 5 characters were relatable for their (supposed) youth, but exotic and exciting. School in England is not like Shermer High. These kids had cool haircuts (well Judd Nelson), denim jackets (Nelson again), they didn’t even have to wear a uniform!... and Ally Sheedy was cute! I loved The Breakfast Club. Loved. Watching 30+ years on, well it’s not the same. Bender (Nelson) is a prick, Claire (Molly Ringwald) is still annoying. Andrew (Emilio Estavez) is a bit flat. Only Allison (Sheedy) and Brian (Anthony Micheal Hall) have anything interesting about them. I’m complicating it though, it’s not supposed to be complicated. It’s 5 kids serving detention on a Saturday, a gang of mismatched misfits against the teacher. The teacher, Mr Vernon is ridiculous though, like Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but without the comedy. It’s really not aged all that well, but despite all the cartoon antics, it still has heart. Yes it’s full of 80s tropes, especially the obligatory nonsensical dance scene, but it’s strength is still the outpouring of emotions from each of them. So forgive some now very questionable dialogue.... Bender really is a prick, sit back and enjoy John Hughes in his directorial prime. I’m going to tie a bandana around my boots and rip the sleeves off a flannel shirt.