After taking a much-needed week off, I got back to my movie “reviewing” ways with what is considered an absolute classic…except by Dan Sileo. I mean “The Breakfast Club” is one of those iconic films that I had been waiting to watch. I mean sure I’ve seen parts of it but you can’t understand what makes the movie special without seeing the whole thing.
While some may not want to admit it, we all fell into certain cliques in high school. Sure I may not have completed fit one stereotype but I would say I was a nerd more so than anything else. And that’s what makes “The Breakfast Club” so memorable; it shows that in the end all of these high schoolers are intrinsically the same.
These five students enter detention representing the 5 main cliques of high school: jock, nerd, prom queen, basket case and burnout. For the first half an hour or so, these characters act just like you expect them to. The burnout is very unlikeable while being a complete ass to everyone, the jock keeps threatening to take him down and the nerd keeps awkwardly trying to fit into the conversation.
But as the movie goes on, you see them start to grow closer to each other including the basket case starting to talk specifically with the jock while even the nerd begins smoking pot with the burnout. In fact, the first thing that brings them together is the proctor who, once again, perfectly stereotypes the grumpy public school teacher. And just like the students, you see there is much more to him than that archetype.
Of course this all leads to that memorable scene where all the students sit in a circle and delve into their problems. The prom queen conforms to fit her social status, the jock wants to avoid becoming his father and the nerd actually attempted suicide (the most impactful moment from the movie). It is through this scene that they realize just how similar they are.
What makes “The Breakfast Club” so memorable is this realization; despite their cliques, all these students face comparable issues. They all have a hard time dealing with the pressure and appearance of being a teenager, things that real high school students still feel. Sure their experiences aren’t completely identical but it all comes down to the same issues. And this is what brings them together as friends (and sometimes more) so while you don’t know what happens next you are optimistic about their futures.
Now I am sure watching this in high school would have left a different impact. Either it would have been this groundbreaking film that it was for many or just added into that common teenage thought that no one knows how you truly feel. But on the other hand, by watching it now I have a greater appreciation for where I am cause I know how menial as well as ludicrous most high school issues are. Everyone has problems even those who seem to have it all. 30 years later and “The Breakfast Club” is still meaningful.
+ Danny Reiter is the producer of the Dan Sileo Show