The Breakfast Club directed by John Hughes
ASIN: 078322687X
Released: 1985
Runtime: 97 minutes
Rating: R

GENRE: Teen Drama

TEASER: This is one Saturday detention that will change their lives forever.

SUMMARY: The movie takes place inside a school library during a Saturday detention. There are five teenagers who are all in for different thing and who don’t know each other. They all come from very different cliques. There is the Andrew (Emilio Estevez) is the ‘athlete’. Claire (Molly Ringwald) is the rich, popular girl or the ‘princess’. Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) is the socially awkward ‘brain’. John (Judd Nelson) is the ‘criminal’ of the group. And then there’s Allison (Ally Sheedy), the ‘basketcase’. Throughout the day they realize that they are all not that different.

CRITIQUE: Some might say that this movie is too drenched in stereotypes. I feel like the stereotypes work well for the overall message of the film. I feel like it was better to stereotype the characters so severely. This way, when they realize that they aren’t so different, it has more meaning. It helped to emphasize the overall message that no matter what social class or clique we come from, we are not that different. This film is a classic that can be appreciated by people of that generation and teenagers today.

Even though the characters are stereotyped, they are not one-dimensional. They all have fears, hope, and needs. Each of them wants acceptance from someone. They all have people in their lives that don’t understand them or appreciate them. For all of them, their parents are a large part of the problem. Andrews father puts too much pressure on him to belong and Claire feels used by her parents failing marriage. Allison feels that her parents don’t notice her at all. John’s father is drunk and abusive. Brian’s father expects him to keep up good grades. All of them feel misunderstood by their peers and their parents. But through sharing their feelings with one another, they might be able to understand each other.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: John Wilden Hughes, Jr. was a film director, producer, and screenwriter. He directed some of the most successful films of the 80s and 90s. Hughes started his career selling jokes to comedians.

Hughes has directed and produced some of the most memorable teen movies that transcend the generation gap. Some of the teen movies he has directed are: Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Weird Science.

Hughes died of a heart attack in August of 2009 at the age of 59. At the 2010 Academy Award, they included a tribute to his life’s work.


CHALLENGE ISSUES: People might object to the profanity or talk of sexual situations and drug use.

DEFENSE: I would suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.


BOOKTALKING IDEAS How do you feel the stereotypes in this film fit in with teen movies today? Have they changed?

WHY INCLUDED I feel like this is the quintessential teen drama. When I think of a teen flick, I think of the brat pack.