The Breakfast Club, if you didn’t know, is a 1985 high-school movie by famed director John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, Uncle Buck) and involves a colourful array of characters who make their way through Saturday detention at Shermer High School. The cast includes Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez. But you probably already knew that, because by now, surely everyone has seen The Breakfast Club.
The merchandise is still available on the high street, screengrabs are a permanent fixture on social media, the film is parodied almost in its entirety for the pilot episode of pop culture juggernaut Community – in short, The Breakfast Club has been essential viewing for two decades now, and with good reason.
Taking five different teens with different problems, attitudes and cliques, and showing that they are all outcasts together, John Hughes’ classic reminds viewers that it’s okay to feel like a misfit, because everyone else does too. Stuck in the library and told not to move, the group’s increasing acts of disclosure and rebellion show that they are self-aware, temperamental, and, above all else, bored.
A masterclass in group dynamics, a moment early in the film shows popularity-queen Claire (Molly Ringwald) and athlete Andy (Emilio Estevez) cover for chief-instigator John Bender (Judd Nelson), when their teacher begins questioning him, and then stick up for him when the two begin arguing. With nothing in common and only anger and hormones between them, they still reject any and all adult influence. It’s an important moment for The Breakfast Club the film, but also the group.
Co-starring Anthony Michael Hall as ‘nerd’ Brian, and Ally Sheedy as ‘freak’ Allison, the five misfits share secrets, jokes, and drug-induced dance numbers, while avoiding writing an essay for Paul Gleason’s over-serious teacher. Coupled with John Hughes’ flair for heartfelt monologues, it’s an irrefutable flashback to your own school days, a witty and emotional analysis of what it’s like to be a kid in an adult world, and the end result has reached 20 years’ worth of people going through exactly that. Much like the final shot of the film, and the accompanying Simple Minds song, The Breakfast Club is nothing less than iconic.
The Breakfast Club is available on Netflix UK, as part of £7.49 monthly subscription. It is also available on MUBI UK, as part of a £9.99 monthly subscription, until 21st May 2019.
Where can I watch The Breakfast Club on pay-per-view VOD?