The Breakfast Club: A Great Stand-Alone, or Sixteen Candles, Part II?

The film I wanted to discuss for my solo entry ties in very simply to our theme movie, because it’s Sixteen Candles. Same director, a few of the same cast members, and the same teen-angst themes. Another killer soundtrack, too.

sixteen candles

I’m always perplexed by the debate concerning which John Hughes movie is better (The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles?). People generally seem to lean heavily towards the former (and that’s fine, even though those people are inherently wrong), but in picking a film to favor, all are missing out on the bigger picture: both together are the definitive one-two punch of teenage anxiety and release of the 80’s. You really can’t have one without the other, can you? Sixteen Candles found some members of our beloved Brat Pack pining over crushes and letting loose at the eternal house party of some rich kid that everyone knew but nobody really “knew.” The Breakfast Club found those same Brat Packers, with the addition of one or two others, coming down from that party high of a year or two before and realizing that the people they thought they were are merely shadowy reflections of the people everyone around them wanted them to be. Heavy, right? I watch a lot of Dr. Phil.

But how do you get from the party days of Point A to the introspective days of Point B? Well, they say everyone’s tastes (not just taste buds) change every so often. . . maybe when you’re an impressionable teenager, those tastes change at the drop of a hat, or a forced Saturday detention.

In case you haven’t figured out where I’m going with this: I’m suggesting that The Breakfast Club, in a few ways, is a bit of a sequel to Sixteen Candles.

You’ve got a bunch of kids worrying about love and popularity and being the life of the party in the first, and then after a couple years of high school, those same kids (as in, those same stereotypes) are forced harshly into the realization, by way of some catchy David Bowie song lyrics, that they are painfully growing up and away from their former selves and into scared young adults about to embark on a new journey with no idea who they are or who they want to be.

Of course, now I’ll REALLY try and make your head spin. . . What if it’s the other way around and The Breakfast Club is a prequel to Sixteen Candles? What if those kids in Saturday detention finally got so sick of the way others saw them and decided to finally cut loose and ask out the hot guy, or stop playing video games and ask the girl for her underwear, or just shut up and GO to the party?

This particular entry was supposed to be an exercise in brevity, so. . . I’m done. See you next time!

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