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From the ghost land of the easy life.

18 June 2005

I'm an 80's baby: much Love to John Hughes, John Cusack and The TOP 40 :
The Breakfast Club:

Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you're crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us, as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out, is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.

I’m a fan of The Breakfast Club. In general I enjoyed all those 1980’s teen angst films. I could find something to relate to in almost any character. I have to admit I didn’t really relate to either of the characters in Say Anything, but I’m a hopeless romantic so the movie was worth viewing. The Breakfast Club, on the other hand, really hit home. Not only could I see myself in them then, today I can almost tell you how much of my personality was what character – almost to the ounce. Scary thought I know.

So being that, for eighties kids, TBC defined your type I’m here to tell you who I was back then (and in someways still am today- do we ever grow up?). Way back when I lived with my folks and went to school and generally hated being alive on a whole new level, there was this movie. I saw TBC before I saw Sixteen Candles, so when I saw Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall together in Sixteen Candles I thought wow these guys did 2 movies together that’s great. It didn’t occur to me that Anthony Michael Hall had changed all that much from one picture to another or that one would have been released before the other. Teen Angst Self Absorption at full throttle.

Now where I grew up we didn’t lack for teen magazines even though we had no radio station, movie theatre or much mainstream media at first. Then the town bought a satellite dish and began ‘stealing’ signals and broadcasting it to everyone in town. That was until some ‘nice person’ wrote a thank you letter that was published in the town paper and got back to the ‘authorities’ down south and then we had a brand spanking new cable company and everyone had to pay for the previously free goods. It’s basic economic principles at work here, supply the drug for free and when they’re hooked start charging. 'Nice person’ was never forgiven.

And so it came to be that American movies came to my television. I’d watch anything and everything. I wasn’t allowed to watch the horror movies at first, or anything with sex in it. But Dad and Mum, being the drinkers they were - it was easy to get around them. People in town went through phases of loving Footloose and Flashdance. I remember those emulations so well. No one wanted to emulate the kids of TBC though, it all hit too close to home. Everyone vehemently denied being like any of the characters and did everything they could to forget the movie existed. It was almost like a scandalous thing to have seen and embraced TBC and to identify yourself with any of the characters.

I loved it. I still love it. I still have friends that want to tell me that they cannot identify with any of TBC people and I know they’re lying. See what I find great about The Breakfast Club is that you don’t have to be 100% anyone character; you could be some bit off all of them. Back then I was equal parts The Brain and The Basketcase with a heavy dose of The Criminal’s attitude and a sprinkle of The Jock’s need to please thrown in. All I wanted was to be The Princess. That never happened.

The first times I saw the movie I related so closely to Ally Sheedy’s character Alison that I wished I was Ally Sheedy. At least she got friends and looked good by the end. I spent high school feeling ignored by everyone, friends and family alike. I was a mean girl in my own private judgmental way, but I also craved attention and would do anything to get it. I wasn’t a nymphomaniac, didn’t see a shrink and to this day have never gone to detention for anything, not even a lark.

(I got detention in grade 3 because someone stole a library book I took out after I had returned it. That doesn’t count.)

As I got older I could see more of Anthony Michael Hall’s Brian in my personality. The need to succeed became very apparent to me in my 20’s. My cynical and angry side, akin to Judd Nelson’s Bender, also became very apparent. I still wanted with all my heart to be like Molly Ringwald’s Claire. I don’t and never have seen myself as athletic; so I had a hard time seeing myself as Emilio Estevez’s Jock. I see it now because I had to come to terms with my need to please and be what other people wanted me to be. I got some Oprah learning on that one. I’m still not athletic but the reasons The Jock tapes Larry’s butt cheeks together are just the same as why I went to school for so long and ended up so much in debt and still wondering what I wanted. I did it because I didn’t want to let anyone down, I wanted to be what people expected me to be. Just like The Jock, I needed to make everyone proud or they wouldn’t love me anymore.

Claire was the one I didn’t identify with. As the only person I didn’t really get she was the one I most wanted to be. Because she was nothing like me, my teenage addled brain insisted, she must be perfect. To this day I have a sneaking suspicion that when I dye my hair red it’s because I’m emulating Molly Ringwald, not because a red bob makes people think of Scully when they see me. It’s usually just a passing thought of Claire. I think about it now because there’s been so much to do about the actors getting together for the MTV awards as they received a trophy for TBC. Judd and Emilio weren’t there. Too bad for them I think.

Everyone looked great. Of course Anthony Michael Hall is all over tv with the Dead Zone, so everyone knows he grew up well. Ally’s dress was awesome and Molly looked good in her pink dress. I don’t like pink. Everyone was hoping to see the whole gang together again but it didn’t happen and I don’t miss the two who didn’t show up much. There’s a series of b-horror movies that you can see Judd Nelson in anytime and Emilio has the Mighty Ducks if you need to see him. For me the most important parts of the movie were there. The ones I thought I was and the one I wanted most to be.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 8:07 PM

MenTal fUrbAll