A Love Letter to The Breakfast Club …on the year of its 30th Anniversary

I remember the first time I saw The Breakfast Club. It was before  Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video. There were still Blockbusters open (gasp).

Actually, Blockbuster was basically a live-action Netflix, as I used to walk around for hours, staring at all the titles – some familiar, many not – unsure of which to choose. It used to drive my mom crazy.

blogspot via Universal Pictures

That’s why one night, unwilling to suffer through the inevitable hour of indecision ahead of her, she grabbed an unfamiliar DVD and dropped it in my hands. “Here, you’re getting this.”

Of course my stubborn teen self was hesitant at first – “But I don’t know any of the actors!” But she insisted – and boy, am I glad that she did.

Since that night I’ve enjoyed a possibly unhealthy obsession with John Hughes films, leading into an all-around love for 80s cinema.

Tumblr via Universal Pictures

I’m a movie enthusiast in general, so of course I love teen films. Clueless, Mean Girls, and 10 Things I Hate About You also top the list, but I truly believe it’s hard to compete with The Breakfast Club.

Here’s me (L) trying to channel the Brat Pack at a Cinespia screening of the classic

I recognize that it may be knocked for its angst, but that’s what I love about it (much like the gem that is short-lived TV series My So-Called Life). I mean, that’s how you feel as a teenager. Emotions are magnified, everything feels out of control, all decisions somehow feel like life or death.

John Hughes always did such a good job portraying realistic emotion in his films. The scene where the students share what brought them to detention offers a real catharsis that most movies lack.

It is also able to walk that  line of being the perfect combination of comical and emotional… not to mention relatable. I remember my Dad pointing out Bender’s (Judd Nelson) line: “Well, you’re an idiot anyway, but if you say you get along with your parents, well, you’re a liar, too” the first time I watched.

via Universal Pictures

On Easter that year I saw a familiar image – five resolute teens huddled in front of a white backdrop on that case, nestled in a basket amongst jelly beans and Cadbury Eggs. It may have seemed an odd choice for the holiday, but I thought it was perfect. And I still do.

Soul Train via Universal Pictures

For more reasons why I think The Breakfast Club is the best teen movie ever, you can check out a post I did for BuzzFeed here.

And you can discover why yourself by catching it in theaters for a special 30th Anniversary  celebration – check out the information here.

So, do you agree – is The Breakfast Club your fave? If not, which teen movie do you love? Share in the comments or tweet me @kaylamcaldwell.

Until next time,

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