The Breakfast Club 0.0 stars

Breakfast Club movie poster

Improbably heterogeneous group of high-school students at an improbable all-day (Saturday) detention hall, improbably unsupervised. A detention hall, without all the improbabilities, would not seem to have much chance at drama. But with all the improbabilities it does not have much chance at Albee-esque group therapy, either. And in point of fact writer-director John Hughes (Sixteen Candles) is well content for the most part to go after the cheap laugh; and on that quest he appoints the most quickly tiresome character — the class hoodlum — to act as chief catalyst and satirist: "Are you a virgin?" and so on. With Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy. 1985.

Duncan Shepherd

This movie is not currently in theaters.


Talls Nov. 19, 2008 @ 10:34 a.m.

The Breakfast Club is really funny and touching, but its just so damn unrealistic. That is its biggest problem. 5 kids who represent every facet of the school are thrown together in Saturday school. They all have tortured lives and cry in each others arms like it's group therapy. Eventually the popular girl gives her virginity to the outcast criminal because he has a hard life and the jock ends up with the crazy basketcase girl because they threw some make up on her. Ya okay, sure!

You want high school realism watch Dazed and Confused or American Graffiti.


Josh Board Nov. 19, 2009 @ 1:30 a.m.

Talls...I liked your comments, right up until you recommended Dazed and Confused. The Led Zeppelin song - yes. The movie, not so much. Visually, it looked good. And it may have had one or two okay moments. But talk about unrealistic. Yeah, those rituals with freshman and all that. C'mon! And at the end of the day, the flick just wasn't very funny.

I agree 100% with your take on Breakfast Club. What's odd is in the synopsis above (I'm assuming by Duncan Shephard), the one flaw in his description is about the unsupervised kids. He can't state that as a flaw, as that's the point. This teacher/principal character that is supervising them, really doesn't give a crap about them. He just wants them locked up, so he can go to his office and do his thing and not have to be in the same room as them.


sugarrock Nov. 19, 2009 @ 10:14 a.m.

Well obviously, Mr. Board, regarding Dazed and Confused, you didn't go to high school in the early 80's in the south or in Texas if that can be considered the fringe of the south. That is exactly what it was like. Dazed and Confused was my high school experience almost to the T. It was hilariously realistic to my experience and Im sure to others as well who went to high school in the late 70s- early 80s. In the south, high school football is king and the movie portrayed that . The freshman rituals, the stoners, looking for the next party, its all there. Not to mention, it has a stellar cast, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck in one of his earliest roles, and Parker Posey, Mila Jojovich, et al, it is hilarious and a very accurate portrayal of a day in the life / night in the life of what it was like to be in high school in that time period.


CuddleFish Nov. 20, 2009 @ 10:39 a.m.

More than most guys, Josh lives in his own world and references everything to his own world view. Just thank God he's not in charge of anything more serious than his silly little blog.

I liked the Breakfast Club. It is ridiculous of Shepard to say that Hughes' movies are not a portrayal of the standard teenage experience: Of course they aren't! His points lay elsewhere, and he chooses to make them in a mildly twisted and gently humorous way. Gawd almighty, the stick up some people's behinds ...


SDaniels Nov. 22, 2009 @ 2:30 a.m.

Film, like literature, does not have some injunction to realism, or even to portray common realities; hopefully, it explores metaphor and social perceptions, and expands or questions them in fresh ways. With The Breakfast Club, Hughes was making a point about stereotypes and adolescence, and how fear keeps us in one interpretive mode over another. He took the common figures of the jock, the prom queen, the dropout/rebel, the freak and the geek, and tried to explore how they all shared some of the traumas of growing up, while attempting to articulate identity not influenced by others (ultimately impossible, if we examine the choices given them). We see in the figure of the teacher who runs Saturday detention one possible future for these kids--to grow up as a mindless conformist, locked in fear and hatred of other human beings. We see another direction with the janitor as social dropout with a clearer, though just as opportunistic, life philosophy (remember how much they run down mazelike halls, running into one or the other of these two possible futures? That's called metaphor). This film, like so many with the 'brat pack,' remains iconic as a record of the American middle class of the 1980s, during which many middle class kids grew up with absent and uncommunicative parents, lost to a fetishization of white collar executive status objects and a money-crazed work ethic.


Josh Board Nov. 24, 2009 @ 11:42 p.m.

I'm not sure what Talls thinks is so unrealistic about Breakfast Club. I remember times in high school, when the classes had seating charts. I had to sit next to this one guy (who later did hardcore jail time). He was a gang member, in the Mesa Verde Flats in Mira Mesa. Wore a flannel shirt, hairnet, and was downright scary. But me and the folks sitting near him, all got along well.

Because, when you throw kids into a room, most often they will find common interests -- whether that's hobbies, or griping about the folks.

Lord of the Flies is the opposite extreme of throwing kids together. But what made THAT believable, is the fact that it was an island. You throw the fears and survival instincts, and juvenile was a recipe for disaster.

Now, I did have a problem with a few of the relationships that developed in Breakfast Club. One day wouldn't be enough time for those couples to be so into each other. And if it was, the dialogue would have to be there for that to be the case. And nothing they said to each other, would warrant these feelings. Sure, Molly Ringwald could have sympathy for the rebel...but enough to want to make-out with him? Maybe a stretch, but hardly something you can claim is "completely unrealistic."


rickeysays Nov. 26, 2009 @ 1:28 a.m.

Ironic that you object to this film being called unrealistic, but you thought "Dazed and Confused" was unrealistic, and got called out on that. Perhaps the philosophers are right, and reality is relative.


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