BREAKFAST CLUB, THE: DVD
The lives and social standings of five very different high school students - wrestling jock Andrew (Emilio Estevez), rebel John (Judd Nelson), rich princess Claire (Molly Ringwald), nerd Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and resident school weirdo Allison (Ally Sheedy) - are turned upside down when they are forced to spend a Saturday together in detention. Within the confines of the school library and under the watchful eye of Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason), these five strangers become more than just people who used to pass each other in the hall - sharing their personal anguishes and confiding in each other, together dealing with the pain of family life and the angst of growing up.
Review by Craig Miller:
Full of '80s nuance, dry humour, rich characters and director John Hughes' touching sensibilities, The Breakfast Club is an icon of 1980s cinema, a film that so captures the true essence of being a teenager that any filmic offering of the same ilk, before or after it, pales in comparison.
Having learned and developed his writing craft predominantly in the comedy domain, Hughes has a solid understanding of people and actions and what is the truth behind what's funny and what's real_ knowing comedy is knowing people and you can see watching Hughes' characters interact and their own unique mannerisms that he knows both extremely well.
Unlike the usual teen fare, the content of Breakfast is meaningful and the revelations made throughout the film are honest and truthful. There's none of the absurdist toilet humour and cheap hits at the expense of stereotypes found in a lot of teen films of the time, but rather a look at the serious side of being a teenager, showing them how they want to be seen. Hughes does initially set up the film using the stereotypical jock, nerd etc personas, but it's only to give a sense of familiarity to the characters before he begins shedding the layers of individuality back to reveal their true motivations.
Hughes knows exactly how to inspire his young actors, getting the most out of his five youngish stars, a healthy percentage of the popular 1980s brat pack, who deliver the perfect mix of teen angst and rebellion, with Judd Nelson mesmerising as the antagonistic bad boy rebel who drives along most of the action_ a wonderfully charismatic performance and, along with his turn in St. Elmo's Fire, career defining.
Although at times it seems like Hughes is ticking off the obligatory teen angst checklist (I don't fit in with my peers, check. My parents don't understand me, check. Threats of suicide, check.) the appeal of Breakfast is that it handles the at times serious subject matter with great skill and tactfulness, which is a testament to Hughes' solid understanding of teens, believable dialogue and human nature, and him using the quintessential teen problems to give these five kids an opportunity in which to bond. These five protagonists may start off at each other's throats but they soon realize that for all their differences and for all the 'cool hierarchy bullsh**', they are surprisingly similar.
Arguably the most recognisable teen flick of director John Hughes' confined career and the definitive 1980s teen flick, The Breakfast Club is not your typical teen fare. In fact, it's probably the most unique film of its genre and type.
(The Breakfast Club is currently only available in the John Hughes '80s collection three-disc set along with Sixteen Candles and Weird Science)
Published October 6, 2005
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BREAKFAST CLUB, THE: DVD
CAST: Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Paul Gleason, John Kapelos
DIRECTOR: John Hughes
SCRIPT: John Hughes
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
PRESENTATION: Widescreen 1.85:1, DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailer
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures
DVD RELEASE: September 21, 2005