Classic Film Review: The Breakfast Club

Let me take you to 1980s America: the school corridors are heaving with baggy sweatshirt wearing kids who are running around in their Nike Jordan trainers, getting wedged in between […]

Let me take you to 1980s America: the school corridors are heaving with baggy sweatshirt wearing kids who are running around in their Nike Jordan trainers, getting wedged in between door frames due to their abnormally wide shoulder pads. Girls’ jeans are so high waisted they’re basically wearing a jumpsuit, and humongous neon hoops hang from their ears, peaking through their wildly teased hair.

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I’ll admit that all sounds rather outdated, but this does not mean everything from the 80s is past its sell-by date. The Breakfast Club is a classic film centring around five teenagers (Andrew, Bender, Claire, Allison, and Brian) whose lives intertwine during a Saturday detention at school. Although it was released in 1985, the film is just as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. Our five protagonists are all very different from each other, perfectly fitting into stereotypes that we’re all familiar with from our high school days. They are a jock, a princess, a basket case, an athlete, and a brain.

In a world where people judge and criticise each other, we could all do with a little reminder once in a while that we are all in fact not so different to the person on our left, and the person on our right. The Breakfast Club is the perfect example of this. Five strangers enter that detention hardly knowing a thing about the other and yet are willing to judge them. They assume they know each other’s stories – oh, how wrong they are.

As events unfold, our ferocious five form an alliance against their teacher (played by Paul Gleason). They work together to make sure they aren’t caught when causing trouble, but also rely on one another to have some fun. In one particularly emotional scene, all five open up about their lives, revealing their deep dark secrets that no one outside that building knows. There is something beautiful about the way they let their guard down; it is such an intimate and raw scene that you as a viewer feel like an intruder. You are a part of their secret circle; you feel you must take their secrets to the grave.

In one hour and 30 minutes, director John Hughes creates a number of classic scenes that have gone down in cinematic history. The final scene of the film is perfection. I’m telling you now you’ll find it hard not to shed a tear as Bender strides across that football field as Simple Minds ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ blasts. If you’re after a classic feel-good film with a bit of everything in it, you’ve found it.

Phoebe Emily Barton

About Phoebe Emily Barton

Phoebe Barton, 21, a third year journalism student at UCLan. I’m originally from the Wirral and aspire to be a film journalist.