The Good, The Bad and The Critic

Established on March 19th, 2012 and pioneered by film fanatic Michael J. Carlisle. The Good, The Bad and The Critic will analyze classic and contemporary films from all corners of the globe. This title references Sergei Leone's influential spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Breakfast Club (1985) Review

Title: The Breakfast Club
Year: 1985

Director: John Hughes
Country: US
Language: English

The Breakfast Club, released in 1985, is the middle film of the “teen trilogy” for which John Hughes is most celebrated. The two films that bookend this trilogy are Sixteen Candles (1984) and, one of my grandpa's favourite movies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). Breakfast Club was a critical success when it first hit theatres and was a tremendous commercial success, gaining $51 million out of its $1 million budget. 

A brain (Anthony Michael Hall), an athlete (Emilio Estevez) , a basket case (Ally Sheedy), a princess (Molly Ringwald), and a criminal (Judd Nelson) meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

John Hughes was known for understanding the traumatic emotionally inconsistent state of an American teenager in the 1980's. He was a gifted director/screenwriter that understood adolescence down to minute details. The little things in Breakfast Club, like the nerd nervously chewing on his pencil, can be as emotionally impactful as the tear-jerking monologues. 

How did a baby-boomer in his 30's understand the mindset of a generation younger than him? In a late 90's interview he said "My generation sucked up so much attention. I see kids struggling for an identity. They are forgotten." While writing The Breakfast Club's screenplay it seems like Hughes was writing a cinematic representation of what he was observing in real life. It's a sensitive picture that depicts realistic relationships and hits its audience on a gut level. 

The Breakfast Club is a remarkable picture that does not feel as aged as some of John Hughes other works, like Sixteen Candles. Aside from issues regarding technology, I feel like this film also addresses the problems of today's millennials. My generation feels as lost as Generation X did in the 1980's. 

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