"Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?"
During the decade of the 80s John Hughes certainly had his share of classic teen flicks. Among some of his classic was Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles and of course The Breakfast Club. With The Breakfast Club, writer/director Hughes created an essential 1980s teen film.
And what is so great about this teen film? First of all, the characters are some that we can easily relate to. The film is over 20 years old but the teenage stereotypes haven't changed. Hughes captures the complex lives of teenagers in a realistic way. Also evident is the fact that almost everybody in high school carries a label. There's the geek, the jock, the princess, etc. Another aspect that any 80s movie requires is the fantastic soundtrack. The Breakfast Club features some essentially 80's music; including the very famous title song by Simple Minds.
For various misdemeanours, five high school students with absolutely nothing in common are forced to endure a full day of detention on a Saturday (a ghastly thought) under the watchful eye of the school's Principal Mr. Vernon (Gleason). When the day starts at 7am everyone around the room don't know each other and have nothing to say to each other. But by 4pm the five troublemakers strike up a close bond. As the five begin talking they realise that they have more in common that originally thought. After the heavy insults flying around the room and the feel of mutual hatred, they slowly open up to each other and it's revealed that they are all much deeper and more complex than their initial label might suggest.
The Breakfast Club is a character study that begins as nothing more than a hilarious riot. But more into the second half the style shifts to more of a meaningful, deep drama filled with moments of truth and deception.
The cast is full of wonderful talent. Judd Nelson was my favourite character here as the criminal and deadbeat who doesn't care if he scores himself extra detention. And of course Paul Gleason displays a great array of talent as the stressed principal.
On the surface many would dismiss The Breakfast Club as just a simple comedy. On that note the film is recurrently hilarious. The witty dialogue was especially great at times (despite loads of profanity). But the film is something a lot more than a comedy. It's one of the greatest teen films to be released during the 1980s; offering an incisive plot and a thoughtful set of characters. In its 90-minute running time the film embodies the very essence of the lives of teenagers that is realistic and poignant at times. This is definitely one of John Hughes best efforts.