The ’80s were a time of movie magic. While some would focus on masterpieces like “The Color Purple” or “ET: The Extra Terrestrial,” my favorite flick from that period is “The Breakfast Club.”
The movie’s plot is simple enough: What would happen if five people from totally different groups of the high school scene were forced to spend a Saturday together in detention?
There are five main characters: Claire (Molly Ringwald), the princess; John Bender (Judd Nelson), the bad boy; Andy (Emilio Estevez), the jock; Brian (Anthony Michael Hall), the geek and Alyson (Ally Sheedy), the freak (and my personal favorite). There are two other characters, the only adults of importance: Principal Vernon and Carl, the school janitor.
We soon realize that Mr. Vernon’s intentions are less than pleasant. He is fairly cruel, and especially hates Bender.
Bender finds unexpected (and unwanted) love in Claire. An even more unusual pairing is Alyson and Andy, who share an almost romantic kiss after Claire gives her a makeover. Brian, the only one who ends up not getting a girl, walks off with something more. In writing a paper to Vernon, which basically tells him to shove it, he finally rebels against the system. And that alone is something most of us wish we could do!
The movie is rated R for language and a scene with drug use. In fact, it is the last movie ever to have a pot-smoking scene that didn’t involve getting caught or being sorry. After 1986, censors decided this was not a good thing for teenagers to watch.
“The Breakfast Club” teaches a valuable lesson: You can’t judge a book by its cover, no matter how pristine or messy it might be. And I think that’s a pretty darn good moral for a John Hughes movie.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.