In an April 2018 essay posted in The New Yorker, 80’s screen queen Molly Ringwald let it be known that she is firmly against bringing back The Breakfast Club. It wasn’t until a recent article though, posted by Entertainment Weekly, that I became aware of Ms. Ringwalds’s stance. My curiosity was piqued. As a youth, I was molded by the ’80’s cinematic classics and hold many fond memories of the indulgent decade. It’s understandable that people want to relive the joys of their youth but what happens when that joy is tarnished?
I think of rebellious camaraderie when I think of The Breakfast Club. I think of unrelenting teenage angst and an ability to find your true self amidst all the coming of age chaos. It was real, it was relatable, we saw ourselves… in them. We saw ourselves in a way that shed light on our own misgivings. So, why not do a reboot?
“You isolate a group of people in a room, you have them talk, and eventually they exchange truths about themselves and come to new understandings.” – Roger Ebert Feb 15, 1985
In the simplest terms, we live in different times… and hopefully not under a rock. While I’m not oblivious to the #metoo movement, my uplifting view of the film did not allow me to apply a correlation. As I read about Ms. Ringwald’s discomfort regarding sensitive content from the film, I then understood.
“What’s more, as I can see now, Bender sexually harasses Claire throughout the film,” Ringwald wrote. “When he’s not sexualizing her, he takes out his rage on her with vicious contempt, calling her ‘pathetic,’ mocking her as ‘Queenie.’ It’s rejection that inspires his vitriol.” -Source: Entertainment Weekly
“She [Molly Ringwald] continued to explain that that era of rom-coms were ‘of a certain time’ and there are ‘things that are not appropriate [now] that were barely appropriate then.’” – Source: Entertainment Weekly
Pretty powerful stuff. It saddens me though that a movie I consider to be an inspirational part of my life is viewed with any kind of discontent. It was a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal that allowed us to believe in ourselves and to accept differences. That is a strong message we can still thankfully hold. Now, “Don’t you forget about me.” 😉