"Is there anything going to happen or something?" One of my friends think out loud this way short after while we were started watching The Breakfast Club on a delightful holiday. I guess she wasn’t expected of what she got by the end. Neither was I for the first time and after the closing scene, a lots of motion pictures behind my back, I could only think about how can I missed this one so far?!
John Hughes was already a familiar name for me at the time and probably I’m not crazy to say there is not a single family with a televison on Earth who haven’t seen his most hyped work, Home Alone, at least once. But as the time gone by I realized, besides the family entertainment he understands the language of teenagers even better. He was always capable of to faithfully capture the feelings and desires of being in this very specific age in a style all his own, mixing day-dreaming, irony and sober facts. Not all of these movies are perfect, if there’s any. But, they are likeable ones, because they are speak from the heart and among them the most essential is the one I choosed to tell you about. Everything begins on an average Saturday morning when five totally different high school students have to spend most of their day in detention and actually, they never talked to each other before and not exactly look like who would ever do that in any case. Decades have passed since the 1985 premier and nobody have been came up with such an inspiring, original, and challenging concept in a teen movie. Original in its idea, inspiring in its point of view and a real challenge, because if you can’t keep up the attention and the meaning of the story that basically almost takes place all along in a library, your movie is dead in the water. The ballad of Simple Minds - Don’t you forget about me suggests in no time, it’s not going to be this kind of failure. In addition to framing the story, it swings us into a captivating mood right away during the opening credits, while we feel like somebody talking to us who really has something to say and we haven’t met any of the characters yet. They are all seem to be a stereotype. A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, a criminal, and they are with a harsh teacher keeping an eye on them and and there’s a janitor too.
Some say we mostly decide subconsciously in eight seconds about who evokes sympathy and who’s not by how a person looks like, moves and talks and afterwards it’s hard to change that opinion, even if we are try for not to stereotype people. Are they really are who we think they are or we just see them as we want to see them? Not the usual dilemma in a teen movie. But I believe, the world of high school is one of the best places to explore this question and most films in the genre, whether is comedic or a bit more dramatic simply ignore to process on the merits this really important, existential theme which inevitably affect on our lives, especially when you are a teenager, when you try to find yourself and a way to live. We join in their way when they arrive at school in a really telling montage look. The teacher run-down the rules, and then, there they are, wryly in the library, waiting to this nightmare to end and it’s bravely shown as realistic as it can be, the balance is perfect on the edge of being interesting and uninvolving. We can feel the silence, the tension, their weariness and they are acting lifelike as presumably we would do exactly in a situation like this and this unusually daring representation led one of my friends think out loud that question.
There won’t break out an alien invasion during the day, they won’t be chased by a mysterious serial killer, they won’t even burn the place down, they are just start reacting to each other, while their story smoothly evolves into more and more complexity and it wisely takes advantages of the location, everything happens for a reason within the lines of credibility thus we are getting even closer to the true spirit of motion pictures and the addition of the two more aspects of the adult characters complete the circle. I guess it’s a huge offset compared to the half-baked teenager story cliches of getting laid, getting drunk, earning respect, finding the big one we can see in such pictures from the era like Adventures in Babysitting, Revenge of The Nerds, The Last American Virgin or before and since then at the movies in general. Most of the common topics also come in sight here, but in a wholly different approach and unlike the unreality of this kind of one dimensional tales and characters, these five teenagers are true personalities with true stories, they have independent thoughts, they are aware of the expectations of society, they are angry, frustrated, a living, breathing humans.
The Brat Pack - as the young actors became known - were flawless choices for their roles. They may playing only themselfs. But no matter how it happened, they are topping off the exceptionally dynamic, smart and sharp dialogues, making their characters to someones we can identify with, we can pay attention, and besides the fun of the mutual time we spend together, it opens the door to remember and even to understand something new about this world that cuts both ways, younger and older viewers, because everybody was a teenager once and like the characters of this story, everyone of us was also one of some gang, let it be only you on your own or you and a mate, the mates similar to you. But I’m less sure about did we really try to understand and accept the mates different from us? Did we care at all? Now, we can see ourselfs from the outside, and it may more relevant than it seems and I believe these great characters and this perfect reflection about us, the haunting truths of high school and being a teenager makes The Breakfast Club for youngsters and people all around the world a timeless cult favorite. Remember telling you asking myself "how can I missed this one so far?!" I did exactly what this story examplify. I prejudged it.