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flick pick | The Breakfast Club 1985
Directed + written by: John Hughes
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: drama
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something: totally 80s, witty
The critic says: / 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: ½/5 

Plot synopsis At a suburban Chicago high school, five students with nothing in common save the fact that they've each been slapped with a day-long weekend detention gather together in the school library on a Saturday morning. There are the popular kids: Andrew, an easygoing wrestling jock, and Claire, a rich, prissy redhead. Then there are the freaks: Allison and Bender, the former a seemingly mute goth outcast, the latter a juvenile delinquent. And then there's Brian, the scrawny, eager-to-please geek who gets made fun of by prom queens and weirdos alike. Forced to spend an entire day together in detention, these five very different students find themselves interacting with each other for the first time. As they tease, taunt and deride each other, they slowly come to realize that they have a lot more in common than any of them ever could have imagined. Beneath the differences in how they dress and how they act, they all have problems with their parents, feel pressured by their peers, and endure angst about their future. Soon, Claire, Bender, Andrew, Allison and Brian find themselves banding together to wreak havoc in the life of their bitter, disgruntled principal, who's made it all too clear to them that he's pissed at having to monitor their detention, and believes that each and every one of them is a worthless loser.

Review John Hughes and his Brat Pack team of actor regulars made a lot of teen movies in the 80s -- and secretly, I have to admit I find something to love in each and every one of them (even the hokey Some Kind of Wonderful… I don't care that Hughes made the exact same movie a couple years earlier with Pretty in Pink). But The Breakfast Club is the only one of the 80s John Hughes teen flicks that I love for more than pure nostalgia reasons. For one thing, the characters are absolutely perfectly cast, from Ringwald as the uptight rich girl, to Nelson as the rebel with an attitude, to Estevez as the dumb jock, Sheedy as the freaky chick and Hall as the brain. The characters begin the movie as stereotypes, sure, but in the end, each reveals depths that your average teen movie never allows its characters. Although the movie occasionally indulges in a whimsical, less than credible, tangent -- let's all smoke pot and boogie down in the library now! -- for the most part, Hughes treats his characters and their problems with respect, never trivializing these tiny fears about parents, school and friends that seem so stupid when you look back on them as adults, but so monumentally important when you're going through them as a sixteen-year-old. With its memorable characters, realistic (for the most part) depiction of universal teen problems, and eminently quotable dialogue, The Breakfast Club isn't just fun because you get to laugh at Molly Ringwald doing her trademark 80s-style dancing: it's actually a good movie, a refreshingly intelligent look at what it means to be a teen in any era. —reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun

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