I watched the Breakfast Club and I didn’t like it


There. I made memes about it. So now you can forgive me. No? Then read this.

Yesterday me and my boyfriend were browsing Netflix and we came across this movie. I realized I’d never seen this classic so I decided to watch it. The Breakfast Club is about a group of stereotypical highschoolers who spend their Saturday together in detention. We have the Sports Jock, the Prom Queen, the Nerd, the Weirdo, and the Criminal. During the movie they start to interact with each other and learn something about each other but also about themselves. I think this movie is intended to be about character growth, thinking outside your assigned stereotype and emotional development. But in my opinion it just fails to send the right message. I’ll explain by exploring each character. BE AWARE: SPOILERS!

The Criminal

The facts
This bully makes it a sport to rub literally everyone the wrong way. He’s rude and aggressive. He has some kind of obsession on finding out if the Prom Queen still is a virgin or not. During the movie we found out that his father has anger management issues and doesn’t care much about him. The teacher treats him a bit too harsh and picks on him solely because he’s ‘the criminal’.

What I expected to happen
He learns to confront his father and vent his frustrations another way. He finds something he’s good at (sports maybe?) and stops bullying everyone.

What really happened
He just continues to be a bully and nothing really changes except that he gets a relationship with the Prom Queen (I will tell more about that later).

The message that I got
It’s okay to be a complete ass-hole if your home situation is shitty. Being a dick will get you the girl.

The Prom Queen

The facts
She’s rich and popular. She seems to be good friends with the Jock. She’s not necessarily mean to anyone. She’s constantly picked on by the Criminal until the point that she’s in tears. She actually makes quite a few good points: she says it doesn’t matter to her if someone is a virgin or not and she says that she’s not obligated to share details about her sex life with anyone. We also find out that her parents are divorcing and that they use her as a pawn to get back at each other. She brutally honest about the fact that on Monday she will probably ignore the Nerd and the Weirdo because she has to keep up appearances for her friends.

What I expected to happen
She realizes she is a strong woman who doesn’t need the protection of her clique. She befriends the Weirdo and maybe even starts to date the nerd.

What really happened
In the last 5 minutes of the movie she suddenly starts to passionately kiss the Criminal because dating him would be a good way to get back at her parents.

The message I got
It’s okay to have sex with persons who verbally abuse you just to prove a point.

The Jock

The Facts
He doesn’t seem to have much personality or personal traits except for the fact that he is the best of his wrestling team. We learn that he is pressured by his father to be a WINNERRRR! and to bully other kids (the reason why he’s in detention), when he actually doesn’t like either of those.

What I expected to happen
He learns to stand up for himself to his father and befriends the nerd and the weirdo. He’s going to do something his father disapproves of in stead of wrestling (Book Club? Cooking?).

What actually happened
He indeed bonds with the nerd over the fact that they are both under a lot of pressure. He learns that he isn’t capable of thinking for himself and acknowledges that he only does stuff because his father wants him to (Yay! There is some actual character development here!). We don’t get to know how this realization works out for him in the end though. But here’s the thing that ruined it for me: after the Weirdo gets a make-over (more about that in a minute), he instantly falls in love with her and they get into a relationship.

The message I got
It’s okay to date someone solely based on his/her looks even if you don’t like their personality much.

The Weirdo

The facts
She’s weird and constantly weirds everyone out by her behaviour. She doesn’t talk in the first half of the movie but later on we learn that she goes to a shrink because she’s a compulsive liar and that she doesn’t like it at home because her parents ignore her. She doesn’t have any friends.

What I expected to happen
She opens up to the group and turns out the be a very likeable person. She befriends them all. She learns that it’s okay to be herself and that she doesn’t need to be this shy.

What actually happens
The Prom Queen gives her a make-over and the Jock falls in love with her after. They start dating instantly. Interesting exchange between the Prom Queen and the Weirdo: Queen: ‘You look much better without that black stuff around your eyes’. Weirdo: ‘But I like the black stuff around my eyes!’. <— which is totally ignored.

The message I got
It’s okay to totally change you appearances and act like someone else to get friends and to get attention from the other gender.

The Nerd

The facts
He’s socially awkward who’s a member of the science club, the chess club, and practically any other ‘nerdy’ club. He has excellent grades but as we learn later he fails wood-shop and that made him so desperate that he was planning to kill himself. The teachers found a gun in his locker so he got detention (Yes, you read that correctly, a student has suicide plans and they found a gun in his locker and all they do is give him one day of detention. It was a flare gun but still. MURICA?).

What I expected to happen
Everyone is shocked by the Nerd’s personal issues and they decide to help them to get over his psychological problems. They learn that if they look past his good grades he is a very nice guy and the Prom Queen falls in love with him. The Jock leans him how to deal with pressure.

What actually happens
They all laugh about his suicide plans (because it’s funny <— yes, that was sarcastic) and they talk him into writing the essay they all had to make all by himself. He’s the only one who doesn’t get into a relationship.

The message that I got
If you are a good student and if you’re a nice person you end up alone doing everyone else’s work.

Post Hoc thoughts:
It is of course also possible that this movie is about the fact that teenagers will be teenagers and won’t change or change for the worse because teenagers are stupid (I doubt it though). I didn’t really get that message when I first watched it but if that’s the case, they’ve done fairly good job.


About Tekira

26 year old psychologist, on the quest of finding a job, loves anime and games.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s