The ending scene of The Breakfast Club is referenced in many modern chick flicks and comedys like Easy A and Pitch Perfect. Indeed Emilio Estevez walking across the high school field with his fist pumping in the air is an iconic scene that many a teenager in the 80s probably shed a tear to. But The Breakfast Club is so much more than that.
I finally watched it and no I did not cry at the end, which is surprising as I tend to cry in movies more often than I don’t. But I finished with a feeling of completeness, like their lives made sense, that they would get it together and be happy, have families, find what it was that made them content and go on to be functioning adults. I felt safe for the characters in the movie.
The movie starts off with a group of students being dropped off to detention on a Saturday, they are unlikely friends but by the end of the film they have shared their deepest secrets with each other and seen the best and worst of who they are. Indeed Brian’s letter to the controlling Mr. Vernon voices what we are all thinking, or hopefully what the movie makes us think by the end of it – that we are all so much more than the stereotypes society pegs on us. We all have parts of the rebel, the princess, the nerd, the basket-case and the jock in us. The labels we were are ones that society imposes on us to make us fit into its neat little boxes.
Like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Breakfast Club is one of this iconic coming of age movies that makes you think long and hard about what it means to grow up and the disillusionment we all face at different stages. What makes children stay children? What forces them to grow up? How do we know what goes on behind closed doors in a family, in a home – what is supposed to be a place that we feel safe in. I wonder how many sad kids there are with a gun in their locker and the only thing that stops them is they don’t know how to shoot it properly. It’s interesting to think about how even though each of these characters is so different they all have different pressures on them that make them conform to a set of ideals and the failure to meet these expectations can affect us all differently.
I’m trying to imagine myself in an 80’s movie and I know exactly who I’d want there with me, smoking weed in a locker room. I have no diamond earrings to give away but I’d give you the ones I’m wearing, metal birds and all. It’s strange that I immediately assume I’m Claire but that’s more to do with her naivety than her popular status. Sometimes I wish I could be in an 80s movie for just two hours and do everything stupid I want to do without it having repercussions on my life….wait that does sound oddly like a very bad 80’s movie.
I like thinking about things. I like thinking about movies and people and what would I do in different situations. Like what if this was a situation? And I was sitting here writing this at 1:12am because I’m crazy and I don’t want to sleep. Would you write back to me? I hope so.
Sometimes swapping earrings is not enough.