The Breakfast Club – Movie Review


Credit: IMDB

Besbris, Podcast Team/Staff


I’ve loved The Breakfast Club for years, it’s one of the movies that’s sparked my love and admiration for films and the making of them; so I figured it would be the perfect movie for the first movie review of the year. Spoilers ahead, obviously. 


The Breakfast Club is a comedy cult classic that came out in 1985 directed by John Hughes, who was a pioneer for high school movies; before John Hughes movies such as Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986,) all movies that were about high schoolers or teenagers were very male dominated, horror, starred grown adults as high schoolers, and for lack of a better word, were “porny”. John Hughes did not like this and was set out to make movies about and for teenagers. 


Molly Ringwald wrote an article for the New York Times about her time on many of John Hughes’ sets, one of her most notable times playing Claire the “princess” in The Breakfast Club. She also spoke on how many scenes in The Breakfast Club, although iconic, are on the problematic side. I personally agree with everything she speaks on in her article and brings up multiple amazing points, andI personally agree with all of them. I think Claire is one of the best “princess” or “prep girl” characters I’ve ever seen in film. She’s such an amazingly complicated character and delivers some of the best and hard hitting lines in the film. Molly Ringwald speaks on how looking back, she really doesn’t like many of the scenes Claire was in, because so many scenes she was treated awfully by Bender, on multiple different levels, yet she still ends up with him. I really wish they gave Bender more redeemable qualities, or more chemistry moments with Claire because honestly their relationship at the end comes out of nowhere; I understand this was the 80’s, so they aren’t the best relationships to look at but just from a writing standpoint it doesn’t make sense and feels rushed. Now with all that being said, let’s get into this iconic movie!


The Breakfast Club starts off on Saturday March 24th, 1984 at Shermer High School. We follow our main cast, Claire Standish (the princess), John Bender (the rebel), Allison Reynolds (the outcast), Andrew Clark (the jock), and Brian Johnson (the nerd) through their day in detention. Their every move is being watched over by their power hungry principal, Richard Vernon. Throughout the day they learn more about themselves, one another, and identity. 


Even with our first moments of seeing Bender, we see how big of jerk  he is; off the bat he takes the chair Brian was sitting at just to be able to kick his feet up (which he only does for a short amount of time). On top of that he immediately starts to harass Claire and pick a fight with Andrew when Andrew tries to defend her. I know the point of Bender’s character is to be a jerk and a “bad boy”, but there are so many times he crosses the line, and what makes it even worse is that he has so few redeemable qualities: he’ll straight up bully, harass, and anger the other four. For example, he continues to pester Claire about her virginity and making out with someone as if this isn’t his first time meeting her?? 


The first time we really see the group bond, especially with Bender, is when they all sneak out of the library to get the ‘mary-jane’ from Bender’s locker, and when Vernon is about to catch them, Bender starts to sing loudly and run through the halls so the rest of the crew can run back to the library.  Then Vernon locks Bender in a closet?!?!? What?? I know this was in the 1980’s, but locking a student in a closet and yelling at him?? Crazy. This bit does lead to a very funny and sweet moment amongst the group when Bender has to crawl through the vents to get back to the library and ends up falling through the ceiling (dunce) and the others hide and cover for Bender, which I truly think is the turning point of the movie. But during this scene Bender also sticks his head between Claires legs, Ask for consent much? Besides that this is  when everyone starts to talk more, we see them bond, and laugh, and get high out of their minds. 


One of the most hard hitting scenes for me personally is Andrew’s speech towards the end of the movie when we find out what everyone did to end up in detention. Before this movie it wasn’t common to see boys cry in the media, it wasn’t even common to see them feel guilty for the bad things they did. We see Andrew actually break down because of the guilt he feels from what he did to land in detention, and the pressure from his dad to be a “winner”, in all honesty if you don’t want to watch the whole movie after reading this, just watch this scene because it genuinely is so amazing. 


Now for my least favorite part of the entire movie, when Allison gets her “makeover”. Not only do I hate the “she’s actually beautiful with some makeup and her hair not messy”, but she just doesn’t look good!! Whatever the makeup team did, did not suit this actress, or character at all and it infuriates me upon every single rewatch. The look she had the whole movie fit her so well, and they threw that away for the whole “she’s actually beautiful!” lazy plot line. On top of that Allison and Andrew get together after this “makeover”, unlike Bender and Claire they do have budding chemistry for most of the movie but after Allison has her makeover is when Andrew openly shows his affection for her. This plotline is kinda gross, and also is just lazy, especially for a movie so heavy on identity. I personally think that it would’ve been a much more fitting arc for Allison and Andrew if they got together with Allison still being the “weird loner”, especially since there was an entire scene about what happens on Monday when they are back in school with the pressures of their friends, but hey screw that character growth I guess. 


I’d give this film a 5 star review, and I recommend it to everyone I give a movie recommendation to, and now I give this recommendation to you!