By Jackie Lyons
If you don’t think you know who John Hughes is, chances are you actually do. He is the mastermind behind classic films such as Home Alone, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Breakfast Club. In 1985, The Breakfast Club was released and became an instant box office hit. It tells the story of five very different teenagers from separate social groups spending the day together in detention, and ultimately finding out they’re not as different as they thought.
Each character represents a stereotype that exists in high schools. The princess, Claire, and the athlete, Andrew, confess how they bully and look down upon those weaker than them to impress their friends. The criminal, Bender, and the basket case, Allison, both have built walls around themselves to distract them from their abusive home life. And the brain, Brian, is constantly told that if he’s not getting good grades, he’s worthless. The debut of this movie brought issues that teenagers face into a new light, displaying how they crave to fit in and to be understood. It sticks out among the normal teen movies, like She’s All That and A Cinderella Story, by being an accurate model toward the lives of high schoolers.
Within 32 years, the problems teenagers are faced with seem to have not changed. Sophomore Bryn Shane says, “The ideas of stereotypes and cliques, while they have become less prominent, are still present and have an influence on how teenagers interact.” For example, here at Glenelg, we certainly do have cliques, but most of us do not hold intense grudges against each other like how they do at the beginning of The Breakfast Club.
An aspect of the movie that still holds up today is troubled home life. In the movie we find out that under his tough guy exterior, the criminal, John Bender, comes from an extremely abusive home and that the popular girl and princess, Claire Standish’s parents are constantly fighting and are looking into a divorce. In a 2014 study done by Childhelp, about 702,000 children and teenagers are victims to abuse at home. According to the 2011 divorce statistics, 246,273,366 people had filed for a divorce or annulment. Like the characters in the movie, teenagers today distract themselves from their home-life by taking their anger out on others and compulsively lying.
Many teenagers today would agree with the accuracies portrayed in the movie. Senior Liam Kirchhoff says, “Teenagers are just trying to discover themselves and the world on their own and it doesn’t need to be a particular decade for that.” While The Breakfast Club is filled with big hair and lingo like, “neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie,” it’s still an applicable movie that should be passed on through the ages.