Truth be told, I thought that writing about the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club would be easy. It’s a film that has stood the test of time, it was groundbreaking in so many ways, launched careers and has become a pop culture icon within itself. It should be a cakewalk.
However, trying to write about a film that is so highly revered by multiple generations is tougher than first thought. It wasn’t like The Breakfast Club swept the Golden Globes or took home a slew of Oscars. It wasn’t like it’s filming was fraught with tragedy or drama, or its legacy marred by events out of the studio’s control. It wasn’t in the age of social media or do many of its fans remember (or were born) in the days where the stars graced the tabloids with other members of the Brat Pack.
Some films can be discussed with an overview of how they were received by the public or what they were intended to make the viewer feel, but writing about The Breakfast Club is tough because it means so many things to so many people. It’s the mark of an incredible film, a film that so many people are protective of and treasure so greatly.
Few films generate such buzz 30 years after their release date. Few films attract such a cult following and fewer films get re-released on both DVD and in theatres for their 30th anniversary.
The Breakfast Club, however, is one of the very few that get such honours.
With SXSW Festival in full swing, the female stars of the film, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy hit the red carpet in Austin, Texas, talking about filming the cult hit. Originally released in 1985, The Breakfast Club has been re-mastered and will be re-released on DVD and shown at theatres across America (come on Australia, where’s our screenings?).
For those of you who haven’t seen The Breakfast Club (go, go now!), the premise is simple: Five students, each from a different clique in high school, wind up in detention on a Saturday morning. What originally starts as hostility turns to understanding as they learn more about each other.
There’s an athlete, played by Emilio Estevez, a basket case, played by Ally Sheedy, a brain, played by Anthony Michael Hall , a princess, played by Molly Ringwald and a criminal, played by Judd Nelson . Over the course of a day, social barriers are broken, cliches shredded and a bunch of teens, each with their own problems, start to form bonds that the cliques within the halls of Shermer High School in Shermer, Illinois never cross.
A great movie combines an incredible film with a soundtrack that resonates and director John Hughes (who also wrote Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, St Elmo’s Fire and Home Alone, to name a few) can be credited with scoring the soundtrack to many an adolescence through his various films. Many films have tried, few have succeeded, but there is no greater song that sums up a film and its lasting feeling quite like Simple Minds‘ Don’t You Forget About Me. A song originally offered to bleached blonde cockney rocker Billy Idol and Roxy Music front man Bryan Ferry; lead singer Jim Kirk’s (not the Starfleet captain) haunting vocals paired with a music video ahead of its time created what is arguably one of the best key songs from a film, ever.
The Breakfast Club is a phenomenal movie that has earned its place in history and has become a pop culture icon, rightfully so. Watch it and pass it along to those who haven’t, because special movies like this don’t come along very often, nor do they stay so relevant 30 years on.
The Breakfast Club.