When it comes to discussing great films of the 80s that truly had an impact on people, it’s virtually impossible not to stumble upon a John Hughes film or an infamous member of “the brat pack.”
For those of you out of touch with this decade, “the brat pack” consisted of a group of young actors and actresses, notably Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald. The latter five appeared in what may have been their most successful roles to date, in 1985’s, The Breakfast Club.
The movie itself takes place at a typical high school in the suburbs, where five students are forced to go to school on a Saturday for detention. It’s at this unlikely place where five initially opposite strangers come face-to-face with each other’s fears and insecurities, and learn to see beyond what’s skin-deep.
Although there were many coming-of-age films in the 80s that became just as popular, The Breakfast Club seemed to be the only film that people could completely relate to on several different levels.
While today’s generation may use different terms to describe one another, the stereotypes that exist today among teens still mirror the roles used in the movie.
Within “a brain,” “an athlete,” “a basket case,” “a princess” and “a criminal,” is someone you knew, someone you’d wished to be and someone that you were.
The Breakfast Club not only examines these stereotypes but dissects them in both dramatic and humorous ways, covering everything from self-esteem, relationships, suicide and drugs, to abuse, parental pressure, virginity and isolation.
Many aspects of society have changed since 1985, yet when it comes to being a teenager, it seems nothing has changed.
Teenagers still tease, harass and bring down one another because they don’t share the same lifestyle, wardrobe or interests. They separate themselves from anyone that is different or obscure because they don’t understand them, and take the easy path of falling in with a crowd to blend and feel comfortable.
By the film’s conclusion most audiences were probably hoping for a sequel, curious to know if Claire and Bender became a couple or if Andy and Brian willingly said Hi to each other in the hallways.
Either way, the movie sent a positive message to anyone who’s ever felt stuck in the artificial bubble that tends to be high school. It’s not always a bad thing to break out of the mold and befriend someone different than you. Chances are, you’ll have more in common than you think.