Reviewed by: Brian Nigro
“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.