‘The Breakfast Club’ is a 1985 film directed by John Hughes. It is based on five students from different social groups at Shermer High School that ended up in a Saturday detention together, tasked with writing an essay on who they think they are.
I like this movie because of the themes of stereotyping and the stigma of mental illness and bullying. I think these themes all relate and are really important in today\’s youth. These themes made me feel sad as I know what it feels like to be stereotyped with a group of people and to be treated differently because of it. It also makes me feel disappointed and angry to know that people are unwilling to get to know someone because of what they stereotype them as because like ‘The Breakfast Club’ shows, a lot of the time people are too quick to judge others and they aren’t who you think they are.
The stigma around bullying and mental health that is addressed in ‘The Breakfast Club’ also makes me feel very sad as I, along with hundreds of other teenagers in New Zealand have been a victim of some form of bullying. One in six New Zealanders has also been diagnosed with a common mental illness and the negative stereotypes around bullying and mental health make me very sad and disappointed because I believe everyone deserves to be treated equally and with respect. Through the five main characters, ‘The Breakfast Club’ addresses these stigmas in a non-biased, positive way that makes me feel happy and glad that these important issues are being brought to light in a way that educates other teens in the hopes of ending stigmas and stereotypes around important issues in society.
Another thing that made me feel happy in ‘The Breakfast Club’ was the characters and how well I related to them. Each character in this movie is presented as a stereotype; Brian Johnson as the nerd, Andrew Clark as the athlete, Allison Reynolds as the basket case, Claire Standish as the popular ‘princess’, and John Bender as the misfit. I like how at the beginning of the movie all the characters dislike each other, but at the end of the movie they all leave the detention as good friends.
They originally didn’t like each other because of what they stereotyped each other as, but they get to know each other more throughout the day and find out they have a lot in common and share a lot of the same issues, concerns and problems and give each other advice.
This reminds me of some of the friendships I’ve made with people I didn’t think I would be friends with. I think I relate to each of the characters in a way as I see part of each stereotype in my own personality which goes to show how toxic and false stereotypes are. The development and new mindset that each character shows at the end of the movie make me feel happy because it shows that they’ve grown and how teens today need to grow to overcome stereotypes. I think that with fewer stereotypes there would be less bullying and a society like that would make me feel very happy.
A key quote from ‘The Breakfast Club’ that I thought was very powerful was the essay that Brian Johnson wrote, reading ‘Dear Mr Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions.
But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, and a princess and a criminal. Does this answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.’ This quote made me feel sad as it shows that adults can be bullies too, especially in Mr Vernon\’s case. This quote made me feel sad as it shows that they’re all just teenagers struggling to fit in, while also trying to conform to society and their parent\’s expectations and stay true to themselves. It made me feel sad because that is something I can relate too.
I think John Hughes main purpose in making ‘The Breakfast Club’ is to show teenagers that it’s ok to be yourself and do not change yourself for others and that should come to accept you. I think the most important message the director wants the audience to take away from the film is that stereotypes and stigmas in today’s society need to stop and it’s up to this generation to make it happen.