A Look Back at “The Breakfast Club” and How the Characters Still Resonate Today


The Breakfast Club, released back in 1985, is a teen drama following the lives of 5 high school students forced to spend their Saturday stuck at school.

Saturday, March 24, 1984, five students of Shermer High School showed up at 7:00 a.m. for all-day detention. Each comes from a different clique: Brian Johnson, a brainiac; Allison Reynolds, an introverted outcast; Andrew Clark, a jock on the wrestling team; Claire Standish, a snobbish popular girl; and John Bender, a rebellious teen delinquent. They gather in the school library, where Vice Principal Richard Vernon instructs the group that they will not talk, move from their seats, or sleep until they’re released. He then assigns a thousand-word essay where they have to describe who they think they are. He leaves but checks every once in a while to reprimand them. With Vernon gone, Bender starts to break the rules, riling up the other students and catching Vernon’s attention. After back talking to Vernon, Bender gets two more months of detention with Vernon starting to remind Bender of his father who abuses him. After the group learns of this they start to feel for him and slowly open up about their own lives and families. 

Breakfast Club has a lot of interesting ideas and characters that make this film stand out. You start with everyone being a part of some kind of stereotype. The nerd wants to keep his grades up, the delinquent won’t follow the rules, and so on, but by the end of the film you think of every character differently. Every character looks fine on the surface, but when they start talking about their personal life, you start to see how bad it is and how each character can relate to it in some way. It does a great job with how real teenagers react and how their parents drastically impact their life and decisions. And the soundtrack will hit you like a truck. At times it will suddenly drop some loud pop music. It also can feel very slow at first with most of the characters not opening up about their lives but transitioning smoothly to the other characters starting to understand each other.

Though it has a very predictable story, it makes up for it by creating such relatable and likable characters. The music helps set the scene with it representing the character’s own emotions. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s more of a film based on the social constructs high school creates while also showing how people aren’t always stuck to these stereotypes. Breakfast Club was probably one of the most influential movies when it comes to representing how 80’s kids look and act in films, becoming the template so many films would replicate.

Categories: Entertainment, Opinion

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