The Breakfast Club (1985) (Classic Film Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Plot
Character (Lead)
Character (Supporting)
Directing
Cinematography
Overall

SUMMARY

five high schoolers from disparate backgrounds and social cliques are forced together one Saturday for detention and learn about themselves and each other.

The Breakfast Club (1985) is a coming of age comedy/ drama film about five students in Shermer High School, who have nothing in common, except for the fact that they have to deal with a nine hour Saturday detention.

PLOT

Andrew the athlete (Emilio Estevez), Claire the princess (Molly Ringwald), Brian the brain (Anthony Michael Hall), Allison the loner (Ally Sheedy), and John the bully (Judd Nelson) have to be quiet, tolerate each other and write an essay about who they think they are over their Saturday detention. At the beginning the plan was to conform to the instructions of Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) and write the essay, so as to leave without trouble, but John is harassing the others, including Richard. As time passes, the teens succumb to mischief, and end up bonding, talking about their parents and why they ended up in detention. After their bonding, they see that they share much more similarities than what someone would expect, and most importantly, their personal teenage struggles and their unwillingness to become like their parents.

The Breakfast Club surprised me a lot, in a sense that it starts as a comedy and then it leans towards the drama genre, evolving into something deeper. We see five people from different backgrounds and of different personalities, who might look incompatible, but all of them have their own insecurities, their problems at home, and their need to be seen for who they really are. There is a focus on peer pressure in school environments and how teenagers are encouraged to belong to a specific type of clique and hang out with specific types of students, thus restricting themselves. At the same time John the delinquent disregards of everything and everyone, and Allison, the shy loner, distances herself from the situation. This film feels like a social experiment and gives us enough food for thought.

The only scene that was a little awkward was the makeover of a character towards the end. If The Breakfast Club is a film that embraces authenticity, was that really needed?

  • Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)

CHARACTERS

  • Claire is the school princess. She comes from a wealthy family and is very popular at school.
  • Andrew is an athlete and represents the type of people who love fitness. He has a crush on Claire and occasionally hangs out with her.
  • Brian is a nerdy and easy going person who wants to be excellent at every subject.
  • John is the school bully and a criminal. He looks like a person who wants everyone to pay attention to him and constantly belittles his classmates and harasses them.
  • Allison is a loner. She behaves in an erratic way, but does not do it for attention. She just has an eccentric way of expressing herself.
  • Richard Vernon is the school principal who pursued teaching for the wrong reasons. He does not really like kids and only cares for his image.

ACTING

Performances were heartfelt and to the point. Molly Ringwald was amazing as Claire (the princess) and I loved her chemistry with Judd Nelson, who was exceptional in the role of John (the bully). Emilio Estevez did his best as Andrew (the athlete) and I also liked his scenes together with Ringwald. Ally Sheedy was unforgettable as Allison, the shy loner, while Anthony Michael Hall was very convincing as nerdy Brian. Last but not least, Paul Gleason was very good as the unpredictable school principal Richard Vernon.

DIRECTION/ CINEMATOGRAPHY

All the events of the movie are happening within the walls of Shermer High School, a location the young protagonists have to attend for their Saturday detention, and this is the main focus of cinematography. Direction was vivid and John Hughes did a very good job as the writer and director of the film. Time passes in an entertaining way and definitely the technical aspect contributed a lot.

END

The Breakfast Club ended optimistically. It felt a little forced and it had its clichés. Still, it was full of hope, and I prefer not to judge the whole film just by its ending.


  • Rating Certificate: R
  • Studios & Distributors: Universal Pictures | A&M Films | Channel Productions
  • Director: John Hughes
  • Written By: John Hughes
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Run Time: 97 Mins.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Original Release Date: 15 February 1985 (United States)
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five high schoolers from disparate backgrounds and social cliques are forced together one Saturday for detention and learn about themselves and each other. The Breakfast Club (1985) (Classic Film Review)