CST Throwback Thursday – Film of the Week

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by Layla Bryndzia,

There’s nothing better than a good 80s movie and when I think throwback, my mind immediately goes to John Hughes. He wrote and directed some of the most iconic movies of the decade including the cult classic, The Breakfast Club.

This movie came out 34 years ago and it is a great testament to being young and being able to battle all the Dick Vernons of the world. The movie takes place on a Saturday at a high school in Chicago. Five teenagers go into detention inherently different. An early Roger Ebert review puts it perfectly saying, “These kids have nothing in common, and they have an aggressive desire not to have anything in common.” Five teenagers go in knowing nothing about each other and come out eight hours later as friends. Yes, some of the characteristics of the kids can be quite predictable, but aren’t all teenagers.

Even though eight hour Saturday detentions aren’t really a thing anymore, this movie was the perfect example of life as a teenager. That is why it has such an unforgettable impact on so many people. Each character sort of represents parts of everyone. They go through problems a lot of teenagers have. Their parents don’t pay attention to them, they try to impress people to get good grades or a scholarship. But really, all they want to do is be kids.

For whatever reason, whether it was a gift from the universe or just a pure understanding of how the teenage mind works, Hughes knows how to write movies that everyone can relate to. They are not full of grandeur. Just full of understanding and humor. The Breakfast Club is just another example of simple, honest writing and plot structure. If I could have had him write my life, I would have.

Nowadays, movies seem like they’re trying to compete with each other. Who has the most intricate plot line? Who has the greatest plot twist? Who has the most fantastical creature? Don’t get me wrong, some of these new movies are great. But it is so refreshing to get back to basics. The plot of the movie just follows five kids throughout one day in detention. There are no zombies that break into the school or brooding vampires who hang in the library. The story is in the dialogue. And boy oh boy, is it a rollercoaster of emotions. There’s laughing, then yelling, then dancing, then more yelling, then marijuana, then crying, then a heartwarming ending. The best part about that movie is watching a twenty-six year old Judd Nelson play the rebellious teen that plays with every last nerve ending of Mr. Vernon’s entire being. Even watching it today, how can you not find yourself rooting for Bender to stick it to the man?

We can learn so much from this movie. We can learn about six more insults such as telling people to “eat my shorts” or calling them a “dildo” (Society should really bring those phrases back). We can learn that, “Screws fall out all the time. The world is an imperfect place.” But most of all, The Breakfast Club is telling us, whether you’re a jock, a princess, a brain, a weirdo or a criminal, we can all put our differences aside, let our walls fall down and just be.

The Verdict – 4 out of 5 stars