Don’t You (Forget About The Breakfast Club)

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Don’t You (Forget About The Breakfast Club)

Mari Martinez, Contributing Writer

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Cliques and stereotypes have been around for ages. Some may say they’re outdated and no longer relevant, but they’d be wrong. We still have the sports, the queens, the nut cases, the brains, and the criminals. We may have even more now, honestly. The Breakfast Club hit the late 80’s about kids from all these cliques and their at home lives and the struggles of being judged for being the way they are.  

The Breakfast Club came out in a time of love stories and high school movies. Despite this genre being vastly popular and incredibly overused, it manages to stand out, and become a movie that defined the 80’s.

The Breakfast Club is about 5 kids, all different stereotypes of high school students, who get stuck in detention together. Initially, they do not get along and don’t even consider each other to be anything close to friends. The movie follows them opening up to each other, and understanding one another, and even dispelling the stereotypes they had built around each other.  The film dives into many issues, such as abuse, suicide, and at home neglect and has scenes with these topics that really get the audience to think.

One of the scenes that really stand out in the movie and gets to the audience’s head is the scene where John Bender, played by Judd Nelson, describes what Brian Johnson’s, played by Anthony Michael Hall, at home life must be like. He’s asked by Andrew Clark, Played by Emilio Estevez, to describe his own at home life, to which John describes the abuse he faces at home in a moment of satirical humor. The music goes from something comfortable to something that makes the viewer very uncomfortable. Andrew does not believe John about this abuse but is shown evidence of it immediately by John, who then flees the scene in a fit of anger and sadness.

This happens again with John, who is threatened by Richard Vernon, played by Paul Gleason, the teacher in charge of the kids in their Saturday detention. Richard sees John as a nobody who will never succeed, and threatens that in John’s future life, “I will be there and I will beat the shi* out of you”. John asks if he’s being threatened, and Richard says that no one would believe John if he were to tell anyone. Richard goes as far as begging John to punch him in that exact moment. John doesn’t, he throws a fake punch and calls John a “gutless turd” when he flinches.

Uncomfortable moments like this are what really gets the audience to think about the kids like this, who really wouldn’t be believed if something were to happen to them, or if they even opened up to others.

The Breakfast Club isn’t just full of moments of uncomfortableness, however. It has scenes of developing love and even has the kids end up with each other in the end, some as more than friends. This might just be a slip in the story to the cliches of the time, as the movie itself, would have been just as good without the added element of a love story. However, this isn’t to say it wasn’t a nice addition, Allison ends up dating Andrew, and Claire ends up with John. The couples are a bit unexpected but, you can’t see them ending up with any other person. They’re so far apart from each other in stereotype that it was just bound to happen.

In the end, The Breakfast Club is a movie that relates to all ages, in any time period. It gave an inside look into the kids who might not have been looked into before and gave the audience something to relate to with all the kids.