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Movie Review

The Breakfast Club

Reviewed by: Brian Nigro
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens
Genre:
Comedy Drama
Length:
93 min.
Year of Release:
1985
R
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE

“Why are you being so nice to me?”
“Because you’re letting me.”

—Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy

I first saw “The Breakfast Club” when I was in junior high several years ago, and I saw it again on a few years later. Many Christians enjoy this film and consider it a classic of the 80s. However, I say that with reservation.

The movie was rated “R” in 1985 for pervasive swearing and infrequent sexual innuendo. (I’d estimate the objectionable phrases clock in at a few dozen.) Let me also say that the content seems a bit mild by current standards. It’s hardly as offensive, for instance, as the PG-rated “Michael” or PG-13 rated “Austin Powers”.

“The Breakfast Club” stars Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael as five different high school students who spend a Saturday in detention. they’re the jock, the tease, the misfit, the anti-social, and the brain—gee, current teenagers must think “Romy and Michele” invented these characterizations, and they’d be wrong.

This movie is targeted toward teens precisely because it is about peer pressure and family background. It’s hard to describe the plot because there are six different stories—Molly Ringwald’s popular A-crowd Claire, for instance, and Emilio Estevez' jock, and Judd Nelson’s wannabe tough guy Bender. Just like a church retreat or therapy session, their lives unfold and bond in a few hours.

Ironically, “The Breakfast Club” has not aged well in over ten years. The opening sequence, set to Simple Minds' song “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” is effective enough; but, several scenes—and the rest of the soundtrack—are so aged and dated, it’s almost embarrassing.

If you’re over 12 but under 20—that is, a “teenager”—you may enjoy this film. Especially if you’re a “jock” or “misfit” or a “brain.” Older adults may simply be bored with it, though Generation X'er parents of infants are undoubtedly familiar with this movie already.

Viewer Comments
…I think a movie as “real” as this can be very effective in showing teens what they deal with in high school, but pointing out the problems with it… there is a scene in the movie where the 5 sit in a circle and they really pour their hearts to each other and you see that each one has a void in their life but the thing is they try to fill it with “money, crime, drugs, sex” etc… each one deals with it in a different way—and many youth see this as regular old problems and gaps etc., but the emptiness is something we all have without Christ and it is called sin… would you not recommend this being shown in that context?
—Paul
I have seen the movie and yes it was funny but I was also not a Christian at the time. When I did sit down to watch it as a Christian, I ended up turning it off. The movie has conversations about sex that nobody, especially teenagers, should fill their minds with. The movie has no lesson except tolerance. The kids learn nothing positive from their day in detention. And, I would never recommend it for a youth group and I know my church would never allow it at a retreat. In every movie review I’ve read, the reader has been informed with specifics on language and unnecessary scenes, but I feel this has been left out of this review. There is no reason for anyone to watch this move, especially a teenager.
—Cyndi
I have seen “THE BREAKFAST CLUB” before and I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IT TO ANY CHRISTIAN !!! The things this movie glorifies i.e. rebellious behavior, sexual immorality, drugs and lying are not things that should be treated laxly. These are all looked down upon by our God. If parents want to teach their children how to treat other get them a book by James Dobson. I would not recommend this movie to any Christian teen or adult for that matter. There are far better things out there for young adults to watch. “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8
—Hope Krumal, age 19