The Breakfast Club Screen 5 articles

The Breakfast Club

1985

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  • The quintessential Brat Pack vehicle, hampered by Hughes's willingness to pigeonhole his protagonists in exactly the same manner as they accuse Vernon of doing, The Breakfast Club is hopelessly tethered to its era. . . . The film's characters operate within or . . . fight in vain against a disagreeably Reagan-era social context that finds young suburban Americans unsure about any number of things about themselves—except that their struggles are truly the only thing in the world that matters.

  • John Hughes's 1985 film seems meant to explain 80s youngsters to yesterday's youth, and comes to the comforting conclusion that they're just as alienated, idealistic, and vulnerable as the baby boomers of the 1960s.

  • Easily John Hughes' most mature effort up to that point, the film encapsulated the social structure of the white, middle-class, suburban high school experience of the 1980s. It celebrated the characters and the institutional halls they roamed, but also paid respect to their anxieties and problems, and never implied that these weren't the best years of their lives.

  • I don’t think you could get away with this now, in our even more uptight era: Smoking pot is THE thing that breaks down the barriers. Hughes doesn’t couch it in a warning to the kids in the audience, he doesn’t try to say “drugs are bad” at the same time … No. It’s unabashedly positive. They all get stoned, and then the next shot is them sitting on the floor … talking … when all kinds of emotional, dramatic, and funny (“I can eat with my toes”) things happen. There’s a direct correlation there.

  • It's snappily written, crisply defined, and cleverly art-directed, and in terms of pacing, it couldn't work better. Even the precipitous couplings at the end, some of them real head-scratchers, actually help the movie: we don't leave with any false sense that anything has been fixed or made permanent, and the excitement of making right and wrong choices at the same time is preserved.

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