Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Breakfast Club

Before the gross out teen comedies there was…

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“For many, John Hughes' The Breakfast Club showed what teenagers felt like in the 80's. It showed that no matter what background or what cliques you come from, we have all problems. This movie deals with a lot of tough subjects such as suicide, child abuse, divorce, competitive parents, and not being noticed at home. The film starts out as four different teenagers from four different backgrounds stuck in Saturday detention who find out more about each other as the film moves along. The characters include rebel John Bender, memorably played by Judd Nelson. Wrestler Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), nerd Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), rich girl Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), and loner Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy). Throughout one day, there are required to write about why they are in detention and how they see them themselves as people. Unlike most of Hughes' body of work, this film goes into some dark territory. The entire movie is like a watching a play. When you finally hear halfway throughout the movie why the following people are in detention, the reasons are believable. Many of these kids' family have parents who don't understand them and at the end of the movie, we know that these problems can't just be resolved by the end of the movie. The issues also make you sympathize with the characters. The film also has excellent acting such as the scene-stealing Paul Gleason as Richard Vernon, the man in charge of the detention. With memorable characters and excellent music, this is another great piece of work from John Hughes and one of the best movies of the 80's.”

The Breakfast Club is brilliant not just in the way it portrayed teens in the 80’s but in the way it portrayed teens. In this example it is a timeless teen comedy!

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“Oh, God! What an unbearable, agonizing film! This entire movie consists of a bunch of whiny rich kids (and Judd Nelson) complaining about how much their parents suck. For the ENTIRE MOVIE! Some of these kids' insurmountable problems include "taping a man's buttocks together and pulling some of the buttock hair off," I think (obviously traumatizing the young man) and "not being able to make a lamp in shop class" (but, isn't that a bit advanced for shop class? I mean, you need to know about electricity to make a lamp). Oh, the sorrow! Emilio Estevez crying while recounting the story of taping another man's ass-cheeks together is truly one of the low points of cinema. This is all expressed using consistently overwritten, verbose, completely unrealistic dialogue that sounds like it was written by a forty-year-old pretending to understand how teenagers speak (which is almost every movie ever made about high-school). Combined with the gaudy 80's fashions and music, this film makes for one truly unpleasant viewing experience. Really, I don't understand the attraction middle-aged people have to making films about high-school; it almost always just seems like they're desperately trying to be hip and appealing to teenagers, or living out some demented teenage fantasy where they weren't dorks in H.S. and part of the in-crowd (and getting laid), as though it actually mattered. High-school is a day care center where beleaguered parents send their hellspawn so they don't have to deal with them for seven hours, NOT an institution of higher-learning; it is not an environment that fosters critical thinking (and with good reason - too many people thinking leads to governments being overthrown). Who gives a crap about popularity and the in-crowd? Listening to these kids' "problems" made me want to pound a nail into my skull. Also, the principal character in this movie is a complete a**hole. He should have been suspended without pay for abusing the students. And I HATED the ending, where the individualistic Goth girl is made over (into what looks like a china-doll) and effectively is now allowed to hang out with the popular students. Gah!”

Me thinks someone is a little bitter about their high school days, I’d like to know the age of the person who wrote this? The 40-year-olds they are talking about were also teenagers at one point and would have had an idea of what we all feel and think about when we are going through that stage in our life.

What I thought:
Teen comedies have all but dried up, the reason most have failed miserably is that they all seem more interested in gross out comedy and gratuitous boob shots. What they should be focusing on is the teens themselves, Think about that time in your life, regardless of who you were at school you were bound to have some kind adolescent issue and more than likely they would stem from your home life. No other Teen comedy has done this as good or as poignantly as The Breakfast Club.

For one thing it is dialogue heavy, most modern teen comedies do away with heartfelt monologues from lonely Goths or confused jocks. Instead we are left with cheap one liners and visual gags that could make you gag or turn on the pubescent boy who hasn’t discovered porn. It’s a great shame as John Hughes postcard to the youth of his day proves, the film is teeming with depth, characterisation and above all kids you care about.

Learning how and why these kids got into detention are the best parts of the movie, every character gets their chance and every one shines. So what if some of their revelations can seem quit trivial, who are we to judge? Part of being a teenager is blowing things out of proportion and being over dramatic. Some however have every reason to be the criminal or Goth and learning how and why is touching and very well acted. Learning about these High School typecasts you’ll find yourself in one of them, if anyone is interested I’m the nerd without the intelligence! It’s in that very clear line between the stereotypes where The Breakfast Club is most influential, these ‘types’ of kids were around before but never like this.

One final point, The Breakfast club does have one gross out point with a bit of dandruff and even a bit of subtle sexuality thrown in. However these elements are not what the films is about and only add to what is not just a seminal teen movie but a seminal 80’s movie, which features that song from American Pie…

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"Films are Loved, Films are hated. I'm here to help you decide where you stand..." I also do web work including a good knowledge of HTML, ASP, using the adobe web package and a strong understanding of SEO, Google Analytics.