Wednesday, March 18, 2015

30 years after THE BREAKFAST CLUB--re-evaluating the John Hughes humor/angst canon.

Last week, Universal reissued John Hughes' high school detention/encounter group film THE BREAKFAST CLUB on Blu-ray/DVD (on its own and bundled with SIXTEEN CANDLES and WEIRD SCIENCE).

Nowadays, the Paramount Pictures period of Hughes' career seems to yield more repeat-viewing experiences than much of his Universal output (WEIRD SCIENCE and THE GREAT OUTDOORS are hard-to-sit-through nadirs).  PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES and (up to a point) SHE'S HAVING A BABY are good adult films; SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL is Hughes' best, least self-sorrowing teen film (and, consequently, the most forgotten today).

THE BREAKFAST CLUB must still be considered seminal by admirers due to its outcasts-marginalized-by-authority-and-peer-pressure dynamic.  Ally Sheedy's socially-averse proto-Goth, Judd Nelson's blustering (sort of an ancestor to T.J. Miller's character Erlich on Mike Judge's SILICON VALLEY) and Anthony Michael Hall's repressed A-student still resonate with me, as does Paul Gleason's sharp-tongued, you-don't-matter-to-me principal.

But, as adolescent films are concerned, it doesn't come close in quality to genuine classics of the genre such as Nicholas Ray's REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and John Frankenheimer's THE YOUNG STRANGER.

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