There’s a minimalistic feel to the movie that helps maintain its focus on the characters; there are essentially only two other speaking parts of any significance outside of the five teens–the antagonistic school principal, Mr. Vernon, as well as a small part played by the school’s janitor (who, if you look quickly, can be seen in the movie’s opening sequence in an old photograph, presumably taken years ago when he was a student, hung on the school’s wall declaring him “Man of the Year”). Adults over 30 might cringe at the unsympathetic and incomplete portrayal of Mr. Vernon, but it’s a movie about the teen experience and rarely has it been captured so accurately on film.
The acting is uniformly excellent. Judd Nelson gives a brilliant performance as “the criminal”, John Bender. He’s clearly the star of the movie, baiting the others to react to his crude behavior and acidic wit. This role put Nelson on the Hollywood map, but his subsequent roles never approached the heights he achieves here. Molly Ringwald, the darling of John Hughes’ 80’s work, is solid as “the princess”, Emilio Estevez shows more depth than the rest of his movies combined as “the jock”, Anthony Michael Hall is eminently believable as “the brain” (and the only one that really looks like a teenager), and Ally Sheedy is okay as “the basketcase”, although she has the most under-written role in the movie–which, as it turns out, is in keeping with the character. After meeting these characters for one fateful Saturday it will leave you wondering…what are they doing now? It’s perhaps better not to know, it’s enough just to enjoy it for what it is.
Now you can again experience THE BREAKFAST CLUB when it screens Wednesday night July 1st at Schlafly Bottleworks Restaurant and Bar in Maplewood (7260 Southwest Ave.- at Manchester – Maplewood, MO 63143). The movie starts at 8pm and admission is $5. A yummy variety of food from Schlafly’s kitchen is available as are plenty of pints of their famous home-brewed beer.
The Facebook invite for the event can be found HERE