Don’t worry, guys, we won’t forget about you. I’m talking to all five of you: brain, athlete, basket case, princess and criminal. Thirty years after John Hughes’ signature work hit theaters, our love for the “The Breakfast Club” holds up.
As evidence, we need only point to a newly remastered theatrical re-release. Our local Carmike held one screening last Thursday and has another planned for this Tuesday. Or you could look at the people who dress up as the movie’s detention-saddled misfits for Halloween on any given year. Which may or may not have been Jenn and me and a few friends two years ago.
For folks who saw this in the mid-’80s, the phrase “Eat my shorts” reminds us of Judd Nelson’s ne’er-do-well, Bender, before it reminds us of Matt Groening’s Bart Simpson.
Maybe the film’s longevity is based on the power of the composite characters, thrust together for 9 hours, who end up breaking down walls and finding common human truths. But having just rewatched the film, I’m most curious about how two like-minded, homesteadery, foodie, grow and/or make-your-own-stuff kinda people like Jenn and me love this film when it got so much about what she and I believe in wrong.
9 Lies from ‘The Breakfast Club’
- Makeup improves your self esteem and magnetism! Am I the only one left cold after the adorable Ally Sheedy’s transformation from bang-drooping miscreant to potential prom queen? She’s so much hotter before, when she’s got that dangerous, devilish spark in her black-linered eyes.
- Sushi sucks!!! It appears that it was so unpopular in 1985 that Molly Ringwald’s Claire had to describe it as ‘rice, raw fish and seaweed,” to which Bender responds, “You won’t accept a guy’s tongue in your mouth, and you’re going to eat that?” Sushi is not only delicious, but, so long as you steer clear of tuna, one of the healthiest things you can eat.
- Geeks make the best writers! Anthony Michael Nerd’s essay is technically fine. But everything in there is insight gleaned from conversation prompted by Bender’s tantrums. Ten years after this session of detention, I’ll bet Bender’s writing for Rolling Stone while the other guy’s probably penning for some snoozy Washington neo-con journal.
- Shop-class kids are second-class citizens! I never took shop in high school, but damn, I sure wish I had, now. Just imagine the head-start I’d have had on the whole maker-culture movement, and building my bike rack from scratch would’ve probably only taken half as long. All this is assuming Bender hadn’t killed me with an angle grinder, of course.
- Processed food is comforting and delicious! At that Halloween party, we had loads of fun with Jenn reenacting Ally Sheedy’s lunch of Cap’n Crunch-Pixie-Stix-and-butter sandwich. By “we” I mean everyone at the party except Jenn, who had to eat it. She can now personally attest that it was neither comforting nor delicious. And we didn’t do a complex analysis of the nutritional value, but considering the sugars, saturated fats and the processed white bread that made up half the sandwich, we’re pretty confident in saying it commits several RDA violations.
- Duct work is a great conduit for human transportation! Or for transporting anything but heated or cooled air, for that matter.
- What’s in your purse says lots about you! Even purseless, I’ll vouch for this one. Jenn’s down to a wee clutch most of the time, with hardly anything inside. And anyone that tries to pursue that analogy can eat… my… shorts…
- If you rip up books you are an uneducated cretin! I tore up a few hundred last year for a creative project. And anyone who tries to to pursue that analogy can eat… my… shorts…
- Pedestrians are losers! Everyone gets a ride to school except – you guessed it – Bender. Sure he’s brash, disliked and misunderstood. But think of all the money he’s saving on gas. And who gets to make out with the princess in the end? Is it the jock? Nope, it’s the man who stands – and commutes – on his own two feet.
Having thrown all those stones, I do realize that Jenn and I are two people Bender would absolutely devour were we in detention with him. Feel free to leave sample dialog in the comments section. Also, the movie got a few things dead-on about our philosophy, too. Specifically, I’m thinking of Bender’s insightful, “Screws fall out all the time. The world’s an imperfect place.” And Ally Sheedy might have been the original no-poo poster child, judging by her dandruff issue.
Columbus area folks interested in the big-screen showing of the film can check it out Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ritz 13. That’s Stimulus Tuesday, so there’s $2 popcorn and sodas too. Other readers can check this site to see if it’s playing in yer town.