I got detention once in high school for being, literally, a second late for class. (Hey, there was tons of traffic that day and the class was as far away from the parking lot as possible. Plus, it was Biology.) Luckily it was only after school detention, not on Saturday. But, I have to admit, it was nothing like the Breakfast Club.
The film is one of the best known of the 80’s and one of the most quintessential high school films of all time. The Breakfast Club is the story of five teenagers, each representing a different high school stereotype, who become unlikely friends on a Saturday spent in detention.
Brian, the brain, Clair, the princess, Allison, the basket case, Andrew, the athlete, and Bender, the criminal, are all plagued by the principal, Mr. Vernon, who holds them captive in the library for detention. While they are supposed to be writing a thousand word essay on who they are, the teens reluctantly speak to each other, often goaded on by Bender. After agreeing that no one really likes their family life, they venture out into the hall, where Bender takes drugs out from his locker and eventually sacrifices himself to Mr. Vernon so that the other s can get back to the library undetected. While in Mr. Vernon’s office, Bender manages to escape through the ventilation system, landing himself back in the library. Eventually they all sit in a pow-wow and discuss deeper issues about their lives, realizing that they have more in common than they ever thought and. As the teens leave school, two unlikely romances form within the group as Allison and Andrew kiss goodbye, and Clair gives Bender her diamond earring, which he earlier criticized. Brian agrees to write a joint essay for the group, in which he sates that they are each really a part of every stereotyped group, and sign the letter as “The Breakfast Club.”
The film remains timeless because of its heartfelt theme. Audiences can relate to the stereotypes that are so often represented in films. But the most important message of the film is that people can fit into more than one category and that boundaries can and should be crossed. This idea is summed up very eloquently by Andrew, who says, “We’re all pretty bizarre.”