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The Breakfest Club Essay, Research Paper
The Breakfast Club
Theresa Puchta is very accurate in her description of the merits and limitations of
John Hughes films. Almost all of the characteristics and themes she has described in the article: suburban setting, vague social concerns, high school cliques, uncaring parents, characters wearing the latest fashions and top 40 soundtrack music have been proven true in The Breakfast Club.
The movie has a suburban setting inside a high school, and the characters each belong to one of the high school cliques: freak, princess, bully, jock and geek. At the very beginning of the movie when the characters are introduced, each of them are receiving a drive from one of their parents who is either too pushy, ignorant, or uncaring. Later on in the movie when each of the characters share their stories, they all reveal that their parents provide them with an unsatisfying home life. This rings true to the theme of missing or uncaring parents mentioned by Theresa Puchta. Although all of the characters are clothed to suit their particular part in the movie, they have been done so based on the latest fashions that certain clique adopted at that time. For example, it was in style for jocks to wear their school s sport jackets, for geeks to wear the cardigans and khakis, bullies to wear leather jackets, weirdos to wear an assortment of clothing, and the popular girls to wear the fashion magazine trends. All of the characters are dressed in one of these ways. The soundtrack accompanying the movie was created by a very popular top 40 band. The characters in this movie do not really display social concerns, outside of their own. They only address the concerns of their lives, none of society. The article was right on with these points.
The biggest and most attractive feature of Hughes films is the realistic dialogue, critics say it is hip-just the way teens talk. Theresa Puchta puts a little spin on that, she writes though Hughes dialogue is realistic, funny and literate-certainly several notches above the drivel usually spoken by people in teen films-it s sometimes a bit too rich. This point brings a lot of truth. This is definitely displayed during conversations between the five high school students when they try to psychologically figure each other out. For example, the bully is criticized by the others as just masking up the fact that he knows he doesn t really matter to anyone, and knowing that no matter how hard he tries he won t fit in. The teens slip these types of observations into their conversations so easily. Although teens do come up with profound statements it is usually after knowing the person well or the effect of a certain emotion/fact that person has made you realize. In The Breakfast Club the teens begin to analyze the bullies behaviour in the beginning of the movie after spending just a few minutes with him in detention. Besides this however, as Theresa pointed out, the lingo is very realistic and full of terms which teenagers used such as blazing up which means to smoke marijuana.
Theresa Puchta writes that one point Hughes has in his favour is the absence of gratuitous sex-indeed, virtually any nudity-in his films. In the same article, Hughes is quoted as saying that most of his characters are romantic rather than sexual.
- When romance blossoms in the movie between the bully and the princess type, their kiss, though in a sexual setting (closet) displays sincerity, sympathy and real affection. This is also the case for the weirdo and the jock. There is absolutely no nudity in this movie. As mentioned by Theresa, females get better treatment in Hughes films than other films. The females in this movie are not depicted as sex objects, thoughts, feelings and actions put forth by the female characters have as much to do with enrolment of the plot as those put forth by the male characters.
This wraps up the descriptions of the merits and limitations of the films of John Hughes, as wrote in John Hughes: The Teen Film Director As Auteur and agreed to by me, based on my personal observations throughout the film.
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