The Breakfast Club (1985) – Review

A small group of five stereotypical American high-school students in the 1980’s have to sacrifice their Saturday morning to attend detention. For nine long hours, the five teenagers and their unique personalities must co-exist and do their best to get through the adventure they find themselves locked into, consequently finding out that they have a lot more in common than they had originally thought. A classic comedic drama that will always be relatable to most viewers. The Breakfast Club is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: John Hughes
Writers: John Hughes
Starring: Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Having initially watched The Breakfast Club over twenty years ago and having rewatched it recently, it seemed just as relatable to me today as it did all those years ago. The movie appeared to get pretty much every aspect of what high-school life must have been like in the 1980’s correct, including the style and personalities of each character, the dialogue they used, the arguments they got involved in, the set design and even the soundtrack that the filmmakers opted to deploy.

Listed as a comedy, the humour certainly wasn’t laugh out loud funny, but there were moments that made you smile and more importantly perhaps, many of the slapstick moments were relatable. Aside from the comedic aspect, there were some rather unpleasant and serious scenes of drama too, with some strong verbal attacks between the main characters showcased throughout, and numerous sub-plots injected too. Just one of the sub-plots included was that f the overly aggressive teacher that decides to take his frustrations out of a bunch of teenagers, one many of us have experienced.

Another fact about the film I found rather fascinating after doing some research, was the fact that certain scenes were actually unscripted with the director and writer of the film, John Hughes, instructing the actors to ad-lib, thus relying greatly on their prior experiences in similar situations, or wild imaginations at the time. There were also moments without the use of a script which were improvised too, such as the now iconic final moments of the movie itself.

In terms of the cast, it’s fair to say that all five of the main characters were given an equal amount of screentime throughout the ninety-seven minute runtime, with John Bender, Andrew Clark and Brian Johnson being portrayed by Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Anthony Michael Hall, respectively. Elsewhere, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy adopted the roles of Claire Standish and Allison Reynolds, the two female students.

All in all, The Breakfast Club may not be perfect, and it may contain some slightly outdated references to culture and outdated snippets of speech in general, but it will always represent the high-school experience for many of us when life was easier and the only worry we once had was to attend detention on a Saturday morning. As previously noted, The Breakfast Club is now streaming on Netflix.

“Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?”

John Bender – The Breakfast Club


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