We may not be entertained by teens saying meaningless and pointed things in real life, but if they are played in film, then it’s okay, isn’t it? Most entertaining is the role playing in The Breakfast Club (1985). The Breakfast Club has lots of smart ‘teen talk’, but also interesting characters. A Saturday High School detention brings them together with different reasons for being there.
Set in a high school for most its running time, it stars Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, who were all recognizable Hollywood names in the 1980’s, with this film landing many of them into the limelight.
As students on detention, their tough supervisor, played by Paul Gleason, assigns them to write an essay on “who they are” which gets predictable results and blank stares. Instead of writing, they talk, and the teacher gets on their nerves and vice versa.
Judd Nelson as John Bender (bent by name and game) is believable as the bully who has been bullied. Firing off one-liners, he doesn’t hold back, words which have an unbridled ring of honesty, and underlining humor.
The five grate each other, which has a ring of truth about it, and the whole event is saying something about transience, friendship, and healing—unusually so for detention. The real-life stuff that they hide gets shared eventually.
There is coarse language at times. A scene where the students get ‘high’ on drugs is handled less than meaningfully, but with a touch of humor.
However, I laughed only a couple of times, but I was entertained all the way.
I appreciated the banter between the students, the always amusing role playing, the human connection, and the acting’s good. The Breakfast Club may even touch the cockles of your heart.
It seems that when strangers at the same school get together there is stuff they can talk about and connect with, despite all the other stuff that goes on.
The Breakfast Club (1985) **** Starring: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy.