There are certain movies that stand the test of time and whose messages ring true even as the years roll by. “The Breakfast Club” is one of those movies. This classic 1985 coming-of-age film, written and directed by John Hughes, is an authentic and enduring beacon of American adolescence that overcomes clichés using a believable and perfect set of characters, and the poignancy of simple truth.

 

The premise of the movie is not one that we have never seen before by any means. It plays off of the classic human experiment: put a variety of very different individuals in a room, throw away the key, and see what happens. This version consists of five high school students, each from different worlds, who find themselves in the same room for Saturday detention. Not only that, each character seems to fit perfectly into an emblematic typecast of the teen drama film genre: “The Criminal,” “The Athlete,” “The Basket Case,” “The Princess,” and “The Brain.” The point of the movie, however, is not to bring to the table some earth-shattering spin on the typical teen movie, but to offer up a genuine rendering of the true high school experience that comes off not as overly glorifying or scornful, but honest and sincere.

 

Each of these five characters in the film are easily recognizable from our everyday lives; each one is a specific type that seems distinct from the rest. In the beginning of the movie, the five kids avoid each other at all costs, keeping up the impression of their respective labels and keeping to themselves in accordance with the supreme high school hierarchy. Throughout the movie, however, the characters begin to symbolically shed their layers (both literally and figuratively) until they finally let their guard down and realize that perhaps they are not so different after all. Their epiphany towards the emotional end of movie provides a commentary not only on youth culture but on society as a whole.

 

It’s not often that a film about children, inevitably written by adults, comes off so effortlessly believable. The charm of this movie comes from the brilliant writing and careful direction of John Hughes as well as the natural flow and chemistry between the characters. Hughes clearly made a point to hand-pick the cast with young actors and actresses who he was convinced would embody the essence and dimensionality of their characters and, who had chemistry on and off the set — he purposely reused Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall to play opposite each other as they did in his prior 1984 coming-of-age comedy “Sixteen Candles,” another classic 80’s treasure.

 

The entire movie progresses flawlessly as a whole and each scene on its own is a minefield of hilarious and classic quotable goodness. From the ubiquitous 80s white boy solo dancing scene courtesy of Emilio Estevez, to the hilarious banter between John Bender, the ultimate bad boy (played by Judd Nelson), and Brian Johnson, the lovable nerd (played by Hall), The Breakfast Club has something special that you just have to see once, twice, or 12,000 times. *Insert iconic 80’s fist pump here*

 

Do you love The Breakfast Club? Tell me what you think by posting in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda