The Breakfast Club addresses the angst found in teens in the 1980’s. It also takes time to do a deep dive into many stereotypes found in the time period. It addresses bullying, as well as mental illness, and tackles divisions among the characters and leads them to learning that maybe they aren’t all that different. Every character is more or less assigned a role, “jock” or “brains” or “criminal” or “princess. ” Every character is very different from the next, and the movie addresses the ideas in the 80’s that differences separated us, not made us stronger. It also does a good job in addressing the teenage feeling of resisting authority, as over the course of the movie they start to deviate from the rules of the principal.
Their is an overarching message reflected in the movie. When Allison Reynolds says “When you grow up, your heart dies.” The characterization of the principal, who does everything in his power to make their lives miserable reflects this idea, that when you grow up you don’t care about other people. The principal continually makes fun and emotionally torments Bender, which perpetuates this idea of power in adulthood.
I think the film helped me understand the stereotypes prevalent at the time the movie was filmed. There really were types of people, and each one had different barriers they had to knock down in order to get close to the others. For example when “princess” Claire agrees to do a makeover of Ally out of the kindness of her own heart, she destroys this idea that she thought she was better than everyone. I think this also added to this idea of teen angst. Everyone felt they needed to fit into this roles, but this movie did a great job showing viewers what acceptance of others looked like and how it could benefit you.
The film is pretty accurate because it touches on people from all different backgrounds. There’s the brainiac, the princess, the criminal, the athlete, and the basket case. Viewers at the time would have resonated with one of these characters and their reasons for getting detention, and their eventual hatred of the situation they were placed into. I think there wasn’t the representation of all different types of teens that truly would have showed people breaking down stereotypes and societal roles and learning that our differences don’t define us. If there were kids of different religions, cultures, races, sexualities, etc, that would have truly been revolutionary.
This movie had a big impact on people around the world. This idea that the heart dies when it grows up really resonated with viewers around the world. It made already angsty teens rebelling against their parent’s control and authority not want to be like them. The way the principal perpetuated this need for power and lack of respect for the kids made viewers really consider the stereotypes in their lives as well as gaining a respect for people with mental illness. The Breakfast Club was able to lead teens to be mindful in their adulthood.
Music was very important in this movie and really added to its message. “Don’t You Forget About Me” played in both the beginning and the end of the movie to symbolize the fact that people are so much more than the stereotypes society puts on them. When all 5 of them have a dance party together, a pivotal scene in which they bond together, “We are not Alone is playing.” A lot of the music speaks for itself in the show and was very meticulously placed to add to the message.
The kids smoke marijuana together in one scene during the movie, in which they reveal secrets about themselves. Kids in the 1980’s were not strangers to the power of unity that comes from weed. Furthermore the scene in which Mr. Vernon threatens as well as makes fun of Bender. I think this is accurate to the way in which people during the 80’s (and still do) look down on people they feel are below them, and feel like they can behave in certain ways because they are “superior.”
The movie does a great job of reflecting the fashion, hair styles, and way of talking during the time period. Claire has a sort of bob that was prevalent to the 80’s and the clothes they were wearing as well were very on brand to the time period. Their way of speaking was very different from what we normally hear today, for example “eat my shorts.” We don’t say that anymore, but apparently people used it as an insult back then.
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