Sweets, You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried. 30 Years of The Breakfast Club.

By Leslie Yager
What’s amusing about being married to someone from another country are all the lost cultural references.

After growing up on a steady diet of American TV and film, humming the Gilligan’s Island theme of the ill-fated three hour cruise, a three hour cruise, the I-Know-Nothing Colonel Klink refrain, having someone gaze back incredulously is frustrating.

I’m probably not alone in my obsession with John Hughes’ film The Breakfast Club starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy as five students in Saturday morning detention at Shermer High School.

March 24, 2014 marked 30 years since that fictitious Saturday detention on March 24, 1984.

It’s significant that typing just a partial phrase muttered by Molly Ringwald’s character Claire into a Google search brings up the entire Breakfast Club script.

The opening scene where Ringwald’s “Claire” is dropped off at Shermer High School by Burberry scarf wearing, ginger-haired dad in his BMW transcends time.

“I can’t believe you can’t get me out of this,” Claire complains. “I mean it’s so absurd, I have to be here on a Saturday. It’s not like I’m a defective or anything.”

And who can forget the voice over of Brian Johnson, “the brain” reading the 1,000 word essay on behalf of the club?

“Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.”

Just for fun, can you attribute the following quotes to the right Breakfast Club character? Richard Vernon the principal, Carl the custodian, Andrew Clark the athlete, Claire Standish the princess, John Bender the criminal, Brian Johnson the brain, or Allison Reynolds the basket case.

  • “Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?”
  • “Don’t mess with the bull, you’ll get the horn.”
  • “But face it, you’re a Neo-Maxi-Zoom-Dweebie!”
  • “I am the eyes and ears of this institution. By the way that clock is 20 minutes fast.”
  • “When I was a kid, I wanted to be John Lennon.”
  • “Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers?”
  • “You might as well not even exist.”
  • “I wanna be an Air Force Ranger.”
  • “You’re a gutless turd.”
  • “What was that ruckus?”
  • “Do you know how popular I am? I am so popular. Everyone loves me so much.”
  • “I taped Larry Lester’s buns together.”
  • “I guess I never throw anything away.”
  • “My home life is unsatifying.”
  • “If he gets up, we’ll all get up. It’ll be anarchy.”
  • “Eat my shorts.”
  • “I’m not a nymphomaniac. I’m a compulsive liar.”
  • “You just bought one more, right there. You want another one?”
  • “When you grow up, your heart dies.”
  • “What happens to us on Monday?”
  • “You’re so conceited. You’re so full of yourself.”

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