Welcome back, movie club members (and those who mistakenly came here looking for some sort of baseball bat made of Corn Flakes). By now you should have watched The Breakfast Club. If you haven’t, the entire movie is about to be spoiled. SPOILER ALERT: They become friends and Dumbledore dies.
The Breakfast Club is one of the rare movies that treat high school kids with respect. Most movies about high school show the students as sex-crazed cardboard characters who look, sound, and act as real as the Easter Bunny or Passover Turtle. Hollywood hardly ever makes honest high school movies because high school is A) very R-rated and B) very complicated. So it’s just easier to stick a bunch of pretty people in generic high school hallways and have them talk about safe things such as the big dance or the big football game. Or they talk about love and life as if it’s the last night on Earth as they sparkle and date pale chicks.
But The Breakfast Club doesn’t shy away from reality. These kids talk how kids really talk. They’re funny, just as real high schoolers are funny. And they’re sad, just like real people are sad.
Let’s get down to some discussion questions. My answers appear below each question; you are encouraged to jot down your own answers in the comments section.
1. Which member of the Breakfast Club do you most relate to?
None. Writer/Director John Hughes does a good job at covering the basic types of students, but he forgot to include the weird/funny/charming/handsome/straight B-student/nerdy/sexy guy who laughs loudly and often. That was me. I also carried around several Slinkys in my backpack. (Just in case.) My character type is rarely represented in movies. But if I had to pick just one member of the club to identify with, it would be the nerdy Brian, if only because I too brought a flare gun to school after I failed to make an elephant lamp.
2. How did you feel about Allison’s makeover at the end?
I’m torn. On one hand, we should all strive to be ourselves, never changing just to fit in. On the other hand, Ally Sheedy looked hot with her hair back.
3. Did Allison really have detention?
Allison’s reason for spending her Saturday cooped up in the school library is vague. Did she really get in trouble? Towards the end of the movie she says she didn’t need to be there. But if that’s the case, why would the principal allow her to hang out? I think she did do something wrong. And judging by her personality, these are some possible reasons she had detention:
Being slightly scary.
Yelping for no reason.
Taping someone’s butt cheeks together.
Wearing too many layers.
4. How will Bender spend his next eight Saturdays in detention?
Wouldn’t this have been a great series of movies, each one showing Bender affecting the lives of his fellow detainees?
Week 1: Helping his fellow detention members realize that life is a complex mystery.
Week 2: Helping his fellow detention members realize that life is a complex mystery.
Week 3: Helping his fellow detention members realize that life is a complex mystery.
Week 4: Drawing on his hand. (He gets bored)
Week 5: Finding secret treasure map and trap door in the library that leads to adventure and skeleton battles.
Week 6: Helping Brian make that elephant lamp.
Week 7: There’s a mix-up at the head office and Bender ends up in detention…on the moon!!!
Week 8: Bender wonders if there will ever be a time when telephones will be portable and small enough to fit in pockets.
5. How did Claire unlock the principal’s closet to free Bender at the end?
I’m guessing she unlocked it using some trick with her cleavage and a paperclip.
6. What would each member of The Breakfast Club be doing today?
Brian: Electrical engineer.
Claire: Stuck in a loveless marriage with lots of kids. She desperately clings to youth, just as the yoga pants that she wears grocery shopping cling to her middle-aged butt.
Andrew: Missing. Last seen with bruises on his face driving into Mexico in an unmarked van. Something bad happened.
Allison: She found herself in college and is now a successful author who lives in a castle and hosts wild costume parties every night.
Bender: Crime fighter by night; Allison’s butler by day.
7. Has this movie changed your perception of people?
Yes. I now know that whoever taped my butt cheeks together in high school felt really bad about it. (I forgive you, Aunt Susie.)
8. Have you ever bonded with a group of strangers as the Breakfast Club bonded?
Never to this extent, but there have been a few times when I was forced to hang out with a group of people (such as during group projects, jury duty, long lines at Baskin-Robbins on Free Cone Day), when I began talking with strangers and experienced brief friendships. Sadly, I rarely talk to these people again because I often give them a fake name: Lester Tightrope.
9. Will the Breakfast Club members remain friends?
Yes. For about three days. After that, things will revert to the normal, horrible high school hierarchy. It’s sad, but true. Claire was right. (Though I think Allison and Andrew will stay together for a few months.)
10. Who would win if the Breakfast Club’s Principal Vernon fought the Dean of Students, Ed Rooney, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?
Rooney is creepy, but something tells me that the Breakfast Club principal was in a few wars and bar fights. My money is on Principal Vernon.
Leave your answers below!
Related post: The SparkNotes Movie Club Presents: The Breakfast Club