Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: ‘The Breakfast Club' Anne T. Donahue

Certain things are really embarrassing. Falling in front of large groups of people. Confusing “their” for “they’re.” Mistaking someone you don’t know for somebody that you do (and then putting your hands over their eyes and screaming, “HI IT’S ME!”).

And not watching a Brat Pack film.

Seriously, I’m ashamed. We may have kicked OLMN off with a John Hughes classic, but a movie column’s not a movie column without without Emilio, Molly, Judd and the gang. So let’s do this right. Let’s take this first day of March to turn over a new leaf and to watch five kids have Saturday morning detention and pretend we live in 1984. Because today we do. Today all of us do. Even Mr. Vernon.

Especially Mr. Vernon.

Here we go.

1) OH MY GOD THIS SONG

Like, we are seriously 20 seconds into this screening and I already want to pick up my laptop and throw it and shoot my fist up in the air and go, “YES!!!!” YES, guys. YES, it is The Breakfast Club. Yes, it is Simple Minds. Yes, it is the only teen film in the world THAT MATTERS AT ALL. You know the Obama slogan, “Yes we can”? I bet you one hundred million (fake) dollars that he came up with that when he was listening to “Don’t You Forget About Me” on repeat and thought, “DAMN IT, I love The Breakfast Club.” Because all of us would. WE TRULY WOULD.

2) My high school looked like this, P.S.

Alright, I seriously don’t mean to make this all about me, but you know the show Degrassi? Also the movie The Breakfast Club, the movie that we are all watching right now? The inside of my high school looked like that! It was beautiful. (Not really.) It looked so nice. (No, there were areas that still smelled like 1982.) The people in the old yearbooks looked like the cast members. (Nooooope.) But whatever! In retrospect, ten years later, I am so infinitely glad.

You are so welcome for this very important retrospective that only clearly benefitted me and my nostalgia.

3) Does 7 a.m. detention exist because YIKES

There are a lot of bad things that happen in the world, but – and not to exaggerate – I don’t think there is anything worse than 7 a.m. detention. FIRST OF ALL, what TEACHER (principal – whatever) would volunteer to get up at 6 on a Saturday to be at WORK for 7 a.m.? Zero. Zero teachers. Or principals. God, ESPECIALLY principals. And for eight hours! What universe is this? Hands up if your detentions were after school for like, half an hour, OR they just suspended you, which I think was much more common than most of us thought.

4) Anthony Michael Hall, SUP

Fun fact: the youngest member of SNL before Abby Elliot, I THINK. That might be a lie. I am not 100% sure. But hey! Facts!

5) Judd Nelson is the biggest babe

WELL, it’s time to be honest with ourselves. We all love Judd Nelson. We do! We really, really do. And you know why? Because we’re humans. We are human beings who have a little something-something for tough-talking wise guys who may or may not have been emotionally scarred for life several times by his terrible parents. His humour! That jacket. THAT HAIR. No, I could not ignore you if I tried, Judd Nelson from 1984, you funny, good-looking gentleman (you beautiful creature). (Disclaimer: thank you for not noticing that I changed “we” to “I.” Please let me have this.)

6) What a buzzkill that these guys hate each other so much

Now I liked high school just about as much as most people liked high school (UGHHHHHH WORST, am I right?), but if five people from different social groups were in detention for a day, it would not go like this. From what I remember, most of us would probably make small talk, and like, one or two would just not get along, and still not care enough to do anything about it. But no one would really make trouble, I think? I don’t know. I do know that I’d try to be Bender’s friend right away because he is HILARIOUS, and just think of the laughs, guys! All of the LOL’s!

7) Mr. Vernon is actually abusive

This is not a joke. This is a straight-up observation. COULD YOU IMAGINE if a teacher was actually like this? (I am going to keep saying “teacher” because I have told myself that he is a teacher and am not ready to switch it to “principal” so let’s just make peace with that fact.) He pushes Emilio, he locks Judd Nelson in a closet and he calls Michael Anthony Hall “PeeWee” after telling him to shut up. In a day. In less than eight hours, in fact. Hold the tuxedo, sir, because I’m serving up a LAWSUIT.

8 ) EW THE DANDRUFF

Okay, before I say anything, let’s just remember how wonderful Ally Sheedy is and how interesting her character is and how this is in no way anti-Ally Sheedy sentiments. BUT EW THAT DANDRUFF SCENE I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT. Why. WHY, Ally Sheedy’s character. Why would you do that to your drawing, and why aren’t you using conditioner and why couldn’t you just have drawn snow in or just left it not-snowy.

9) Poor Claire

We all feel really bad for Judd Nelson’s character, but we REALLY need to feel bad for Molly Ringwald’s character because no one’s obviously talking to her about her issues at home. Like, remember when Emilio Estevaz is like “You’re just feeling sorry for yourself.” What a terrible thing to say! And then poor Brian comes into the mix, and yikes, he tried to kill himself with a flare gun. Also, I LIKE the name Claire, so you can take THAT insult back, Judd Nelson (who I will call by your character’s name and your real name when I see fit).

10) Bender should not be asking Claire about her sex life like that

And in this week’s NO DUH lesson, do not ask people about their sex life in this capacity, ever, anyone, because there is so much harassment going on sometimes in this movie I don’t even know what to say. I love this film, but I hate this scene. I hate it almost as much as the part where he puts his head up her skirt because it’s like JUDD NESLON, you were not invited to do that, and therefore that is assault, and I want to like you, but this makes me feel SO UPSET FOR CLAIRE. So. Upset*.

*Here’s hoping that when they dated, they talked about how that was not alright, and from then on in, their relationship was wonderful and filled with communication and none of that ever again. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m basically hiding my eyes from that whole thing.

11) There is nothing wrong with being a janitor

There isn’t! It is 100% hard, honest work. You know where we’d be without janitors? In a disgusting slum-like situation. Toronto once went on a garbage strike and even going into the city made me want to sleep in my car in another province. (And I didn’t even live there then.) So that’s where we’d be without janitors and waste management staff. SO YOU BITE YOUR TONGUE, JUDD NELSON. (And damn it, say hi to the janitor, Brian! He addressed you! MANNERS, GUY. Learn about them.)

12) Remember when Emilio tells Ally Sheedy that he’s a “winner”?

Is anybody else willing to bet ten treehouse dollars that Charlie Sheen watched this part and thought “YUP. SO AM I, EMILIO. SO AM I.” Also, just imagine you were walking down the hall with this guy, and he tries to tell you that the reason he is in detention is because “he’s a winner” and he’s got “strength and speed.” But that he wasn’t REALLY “a winner.” No thank you, sir, I will NOT have another.

12) b) AND ANOTHER THING: he doesn’t notice how beautiful she is until she gets her makeover. As if, Andrew. As if Ally Sheedy’s character – the future famous artist – would date you after this ordeal. We need to talk about Emilio. Just like in this scene:

13) It IS your personal, private business, Brian the Brain!

SO WHAT if Brian hasn’t slept with anybody? Leave him alone, Judd Nelson! Who have YOU hooked up with? ACTUALLY WAIT, don’t tell me because it is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. You know why? Because who cares, that’s why! Also, because (say it together so we all understand the lesson) YOUR PERSONAL LIFE IS YOUR PERSONAL LIFE. Goodnight, Judd. It’s time for you to go to sleep.

14) I think Claire’s sushi may have gone bad …?

I’m not a gourmand, but I have learned a few valuable lessons in my day, and one of those valuable lessons is that sushi belongs in the fridge and not in a brown paper bag in the school library. CLAIRE, you are smart. Throw an ice pack in there! OR maybe have another lunch. Or maybe just eat a bag of chips? I am only concerned because we have all (ALL!) had food poisoning before and it involves a lot of wanting to die, and Claire is already having a bad day. I’ve got your back, Claire.

15) “NO DAD! WHAT! ABOUT! YOU!”

WELL. That was a cry for help if I’ve ever heard one. ALSO, maybe Judd Nelson would’ve grown up to be the greatest actor our world has ever known. And in this case I don’t mean ACTUAL Judd Nelson (the greatest actor our world has ever known), I mean Judd Nelson’s CHARACTER, who is really great at impersonating Brian’s family and then his own. Also, such emotion! He’s got so much. GAH, and then he shows the cigar burns and I want to wrap a blanket around him and say, “IT IS OKAY, JUDD NELSON. WE ARE GOING TO GET YOU HELP.”

God, so many capital letters this week, guys. But you know what? It’s necessary. It’s The Breakfast Club, and this is not a drill.

16) But then Mr. Vernon spills his … ink (?) all over his lunch, and it’s like LOLOLOL

And that relieves some of the tension because 99.9% of us really needed to laugh after the scene we just saw.

17) “Being bad feels pretty good!”

Is the first phrase to say if you were trying to get me to date you in high school. But also, why did all five of them have to get the pot that Emilio Estevaz did not want to get? And/or the Brain? This was the most pointless nearly-in-trouble situation the western world has ever had the grace of witnessing. Did they just need to stretch their legs? That library is eight stories high! They clearly danced around it and found secret rooms and could’ve climbed the statue, BUT NO. They want to escape, I guess. And then Emilio tries to take over and it’s like, “WELL. This just got a whole less fun.”

18) Bender’s name is John!

And how did Molly Ringwald know? SOUNDS TO ME like she has herself a crushy-crush. Which is absolutely fine by me, because – AND REMEMBER, we’re going to assume Judd Nelson apologized for being pretty terrible several times throughout thi movie – they went on to have a love story that rivalled whatever it is The Notebook is all about.

19) “I make $31 000 a year and I’ve got a home”

What is that in 1984 actually? $250 000? Once my Mom told me she had to lend my aunt $200 in 1980, and I think that was … $10 000 then? Is that how it works? “I am the Monopoly Man!” is what I think Mr. Vernon is trying to say. While in 2012 he would be saying . . . no, he’d still be saying he is the Monopoly Man because to me $31 000 is still a lot of money.

20) Where did the music come from!?

So we all know Mr. Vernon is in the basement being a voyeur (SO WEIRD), but where did the music come from? ALSO would he still not have maybe heard it? And then Emilio’s all dancing, and they’re all dancing, and for the first time in the history of this film, nobody is afraid of Mr. Vernon. Pot! It makes stereo systems appear when you need to dance after telling everyone how popular you are, according to The Breakfast Club. DANCE!

OH WAIT there is a DJ booth. SORRY, BEN. (Said in an Australian accent for whoever watches Summer Heights High.) Carry on, cast and crew!

21) And then Emilio proves himself and we know that eventually he becomes a psychologist

AHHH so THIS is why Ally Sheedy’s character eventually loves him. He figures it out! I mean, YEAH ALLY SHEEDY, I’m really sure you don’t want ANYONE to know about your life if you’re dumping your bag all over the place. You called it, Emilio! (“EMILIO!!!”) And he cares. HE REALLY DOES. And maybe she tells him eventually, “Hey. You don’t need to be a wrestler. You can be a psychologist.” And he says, “And you, an artist!” And they eat ALL OF THE CAP’N CRUNCH CEREAL ALL OF THE TIME. (Can I come over for lunch, guys?)

22) POOR LARRY

UGH that story. Poor Larry with the taped buns situation. And you know what? YES, Larry will ALWAYS remember what you did to him, Emilio. BUT odds are also that Larry went on to be way more successful than Emilio’s character ever was, so I mean at the end of the day, there’s that. Is Larry a comedian? I bet he’d make a terrific comedian.

Sidenote: I just realized that Emilio and Charlie Sheen are brothers in real life and I realized that when he was saying “WIN WIN WIN” and now everything is noise. The world is a different place. This is Apocalypse Now. Which is another Sheen reference because I’ve clearly committed to bringing him into this.

23) You do not have to be your parents

LISTEN. You don’t have to be your parents if you don’t want to be your parents. Also, your heart doesn’t die when you grow up. Unless it was already dead. OR your name is Mr. Vernon. (Disclaimer: if there is a guy reading this whose name is Mr. Vernon, I know you are not THE Mr. Vernon, so your heart will not die.) Let’s all just assume our hearts will not die. What a terrible thing to say, Ally Sheedy’s character. You need to speak to your psychologist, names Mr. Emilio Estevez.

24) Claire, that IS a terrible thing to do not say hi to your new friends in the hallway on Monday

YIKES. What a terrible person, Claire whats-her-face is. Her friends sound like the worst! Also, they sound like not real friends. You know the movie 13 Going on 30? (YUP.) She clearly hangs out with Judy Greer’s pals who won’t let Jenna hang out with the guy who makes her the dollhouse. THOSE GUYS. You want to hear a story for real, though? In high school, I hung out with these girls (for a month) who told me that to hang out with them I had to dress “sexier” (gag me) and stop “being nice to people” in the hallway. “We have a reputation to maintain,” they said. “So you can’t just be saying hi to everybody.” I won’t tell you where those girls are today, but I will tell you that sometimes people peak at 17 (and that I think they are still trying to dress sexy for those people in the hallway they never talked to who are the CEOs of the companies they’re trying to get jobs at).

25) I like to think they were all still friends after detention

Call it denial, but DAMN IT, I refuse to believe they were not friends after that fateful eight-hour Saturday shift. First of all, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald obviously were in love (their characters) (also maybe the actors themselves, I’m not too sure), and second of all, Emilio and Ally Sheedy continued on a beautiful emotional journey where there was a lot of art and Emilio dancing to whatever song that was he was dancing to. The Brain went onto change his name to Michael Anthony Hall and star on Saturday Night Live, DUH.

As for Larry, has 16 Emmys and three Oscars. He got over the buttcheek-tape incident right away because he used it for a bit.

comments

Please help us maintain positive conversations by refraining from posting spam, advertisements, and links to other websites or blogs. we reserve the right to remove your comment if it does not adhere to these guidelines. thanks! post a comment.

  1. I was born 10 years after this movie was made and its my favorite movie ever <3

  2. Solid fist pump for Summer Heights High reference! (I am also a Brat Pack Junkie:)

  3. I cannot BELIEVE there is a Summer Heights High reference in here. Not only that, it’s actually one of my favourite bits of that whole show! ‘But he’s a ranga sir!!’ hahah. This just made my Friday, cheers

  4. Fun Fact? John Hughes almost kicked Judd Nelson off the film because he was treating Molly Ringwald so horribly off-set. He claimed he was only trying to “stay in character” but rumors are he was pretty much just a jack-ass.

  5. Oh god I love this movie. Especially Bender. That part where he lights the match with his teeth? Total turn-on. My favorite scene in the whole movie is where Brian puts on the quintessential 80s music and the guitar screeches. It reminds me of my childhood, and I was 2 when this movie was released.

  6. I LOVE these articles, Anne!
    They’re chaotic and crazy, but the BEST way to write about movies, really. You just gotta go through it, step by step, and make note of the important bits and insightful observations.
    :D

  7. LOVED this article!!! TBC is my favorite 80′s movie!! How could anyone resist the “hey hey hey hey” from “Don’t you forget about me”? That song is a 80′s classic. It never gets old.

    If anyone else can’t resist John Hughes’s 80′s movies, then amazon this book :You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation. It’s a great read about the legacy of John Hughes and his films.

  8. Futurama, Fry’s nephew…the 7 leaf clover. Awww! But yes, that song & this movie are pure brilliance! & look at another coincidence…Bender?

  9. Can I just say, when Judd Bender gives Claire Ringwald his earring, and she just puts it on, all I can think of is how crusty earrings are when you take them off, and I’m caught on a reaction somewhere between “OMFGTHEYLOVEEACHOTHERSOMUCHTHEYDONTCAREABOUTEARGUNK!” and “Kids are so effing gross.”

    • E75yh8 rsfzfiomhmug

      Anonymous | 3/22/2012 11:03 pm
    • Ah – it does make you want to go pop in some of these classics doesn’t it?!I think of The Breakfast Club every time I hear that Simple Minds song. Very reraly is a song so automatically connected by everyone to a film. I don’t know if he had a hand in the music selections or not, but the soundtracks to his movies were always so perfect.

      Anonymous | 3/22/2012 08:03 pm
  10. Great one, A-Dawg! Love it!

  11. 1) YES. THAT SONG. Also in one of my favourite episodes of Futurama. Whoever knows what I’m talking about can be my friend.