Reflections on the '80s: The Breakfast Club


            I hope you’re all back for the next installment of my "Reflections on the '80s" series.

           Anyways, as promised, this article covers John Hughes’ next movie, The Breakfast Club. Released in 1985, TBC is a movie about the fragility of high school cliques that still feels refreshing and relevant 30 years later.

           TBC centers on five teens, Andy, Claire, Brian, Bender, and Allison, who have all received Saturday detentions. During their nine-hour imprisonment in their school’s library, they share their secrets and form friendships despite all belonging to disparate cliques within the school.

          Their revelations are heartbreakingly honest but really cringy, mostly due to their reality. I can imagine my friends sharing these things with me. TBC shows best what I believe to be the defining characteristic of Hughes’ movies: their truth to life. He films what could be real life yet makes it interesting enough to be the subject of a movie, and I think that’s really underrated.

          Spoiler alert: this is one of my favorite movies. The first time I saw it, I was 12 and knew I was in love. This was going to be what high school was. I was going to have such great friends and we were going to be so, so cool.Another spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. As great as TBC is, friendships like that don’t always appear out of Saturday detentions. You have to work for them.

           This year, I decided I was going to make that happen. I vowed to talk to people: people I knew and people I didn’t. Maybe this brain would find her own princess. I’ve learned that TBC is right. People, even people very different from you, will shock you with how nice they are. I had disregarded so many people who are now very important to me because I assumed we would not get along or have much in common. Whether you’re an athlete, a criminal, or a basket case really doesn’t matter that much to people, as long as they like you.

           In an age in which so much of our social lives occur online, it can be easy to downplay the impact a single conversation can have. TBC reminds us that a minute, an hour, or a day can completely change the way you see your classmates and the world. Keep talking. I found my princess, go find yours.

text: iona grace
images: the breakfast club
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