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The Breakfast Club (DVD) Review
One of the defining movies of the 80's decade, The Breakfast Club remains an entertaining film which evokes nostalgia among many viewers. Inevitably, any foray into the cinema blockbusters of the 1980s will evoke a number of titles, such as Back To The Future, Beverly Hills Cop, or The Goonies. The Breakfast Club is certainly one of those films, and it's almost universally cited as one of the preeminent films from the era. If you enjoy relationship films, it's easy to see why, because The Breakfast Club is a movie built solely on the strength of its characters and the conflict surrounding them.
Shermer High School principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) oversees the Saturday morning detention of five high school students from differing backgrounds. Confining them to the library, he fails to relate to them as individuals with a future or a purpose. Making up the cast of misfit characters are Andy Clark (Emilio Estevez), Brian Ralph Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), John Bender (Judd Nelson), Claire Standish (Molly Ringwold), and Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy). Forced to spend their Saturday together, the five students strike up a conversation (with the exception of the muted Allison). For the most part, their conversation consists of picking on each other and making jokes at each other's expense.
Continually butting heads with Principal Vernon, the teens help pass the time by uniting against Vernon and by engaging in conversation with the infinitely wise janitor, Carl (John Kapelos). Eventually, each student (including Allison, who eventually opens up) comes to understand the plight of the other. The pretty princess Claire doesn't have a perfect life. Neither does the popular wrestling champ Andy. Brian and Allison have their own problems just like anyone else, and John puts up a front to look tougher and more hardened than he really is. In the end, the five develop a lifelong bond - with Claire and John igniting a budding relationship.
Sporting a smash hit soundtrack headlined by Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)," The Breakfast Club attained instant cult classic status. The 'brat pack' came to define a generation and made its mark in Hollywood. A light-hearted comedy, blended together with a series of relationships between different people, The Breakfast Club's true strength lies with the ability of its audience to relate to the issues at hand. The characters recount stories from their lives that in one way or another are easily relatable to most every American who attended high school.
It's this universal familiarity with the themes depicted by The Breakfast Club that make it a classic adored by millions. Despite the longings of teenagers throughout time to forge unique identities and set themselves aside as revolutionary, in the end, most high schools sport the same cast of characters, and those various roles have remained unchanged for most of the last several decades. As one of the most memorable films of the 80's decade, The Breakfast Club is a definite must-see movie.
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