Time: 92 mins.
Genre: High School/Comedy
SYNOPSIS: Five vastly different high school students meet in detention where boredom allows them to open up and leads them to discover they have a lot more in common than they thought.
BOTTOM LINE: It's hard for me to write objectively about films I saw when I was a teenager, especially ones that really spoke to me, such as THE BREAKFAST CLUB. I think this has become a classic because it hits on issues that everyone can understand. I'm sure many people relate more to one character than another either the Prom Queen, the Athlete, the Brain, the Delinquent or the Freak but Hughes gives each of them more depth than one would expect from a teen comedy.
This story gets to the heart of high school where everyone tries to live up to their label afraid they will be discovered to be something different than they are perceived. For one day, they are able to shed their skins and be themselves, unafraid of the consequences...since once this ordeal is over they'll never speak to each other again. Their confinement gives them a freedom from the expectations of their parents and peers, a gift none of them will ever forget. They learn to look beyond the facade to see the real person underneath.
I know it sounds horribly deep for a comedy, but Hughes and company are able to get the point across through both dramatic moments and clever one-liners. It's hard to believe that watching kids while away a day in detention could be so much fun. Everyone is perfectly cast. Each bringing something new and unexpected to their characters, making the whole more important than shining individually. Paul Gleeson, as the bitter, fed-up principal is priceless. If you have to only be remembered for one role, this is a pretty hilarious one. It's his loathsome behavior that bands our ragtag group together.
It's amazing how Hughes was able to capture the angst and emotions of growing up in the 80s over and over again. However, his films have endured because they focus on rites of passage everyone is forced to go through. They don't make teen comedies this endearing and funny very often. A definite must-see.