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"The Breakfast Club": The Nostalgia of Others

By Alexander Joenks | Film | March 25, 2014 |

By Alexander Joenks | Film | March 25, 2014 |

As you may have heard, yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the date the events of The Breakfast Club occurred. If that made you gush with nostalgia for John Hughes’ films, I’m warning you right up front that this little article is not going to make you happy, and you should probably go read something else. I mean, you’re welcome to stay, I’m just giving you the proper trigger warning.

I hate The Breakfast Club. To be more general, I have little fondness for most of the John Hughes body of work. To be more specific after that generality: Uncle Buck, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and National Lampoon’s Vacation are works of profound wonder. But anything featuring a group of teenagers being teenagers? I hate those.

I never lived like those teenagers. I don’t relate to them. I didn’t relate to them when I was a teenager. I didn’t know people who related to them. Or rather, I didn’t have affection for those who did. I remember a record store once when I was fifteen, with a sign that said “Teenagers Must Leave Backpacks at Door”. And it infuriated me even while I understood it. I hated teenagers when I was a teenager, would have loved to ban them from locations I frequented, and felt that my particular age shouldn’t automatically pile me in with those people.

The Breakfast Club, and its Brat Pack cousins, are overrated bits of mildly entertaining teen cliches that are only held in the high regard they are because a certain age range holds them in monumental nostalgia for a time that never really existed. They are to Gen Xers what Woodstock was for that annoying slice of Baby Boomers: a fictional construct of fake nostalgia that its adulants think is a perfect slice of truth and beauty, and everyone else is irritated as shit by.