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The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985)

I feel kinda bad using that photo and even though it's pretty cool it does crop out Anthony Michael Hall from the original photo. Oh well, no one will miss the brain. Oh, that was Bender talking btw, not me

Brain-Brian...a coincidence? Or a hidden message?

Director John Hughes knows what it's like to be a teen in high school.
I've seen The Breakfast Club several times before and every time I watch it I feel like I'm watching a different movie. Last time was years ago and I thought of it as a really good, teen comedy. This time I seen something different, I seen a dark film about people with a lot of pain that they hide inside them from the rest of the world.

Take Bender's (Judd Nelson) story about the cigar burn on his arm at the hands of his father for spilling paint in the garage....Not much more is said about it and the film quickly slides into another scene. But think about it, the film is telling us how Bender was tortured at the hands of his father. That's hardly stuff of a teen comedy flick.

But the darkest thing of all is Brian who tells of keeping a gun in his locker because he just can't handle having an F from shop class. In the next moment we learn that it's a flair gun and it went off in his locker and everyone laughs. And that's the brilliance of John Hughes' script. He manages to keep the film light enough to be enjoyable, While if you pay close attention to the scripts sub context, we know it's not actually about a flair gun joke, it's about a kid who's on the verge of committing suicide. That's pretty damn heady stuff.

Even more poignant is how at the start of the film John Bender is mocking Brian for having the perfect little family...Hughes' script shows us that kids from so called perfect families like Brian's can be pretty screwed up too...Hughes' also shows us that underneath the labels all the teens in the movie have much more in common than a mere label would suggest. And that applies to all of us as well.