The Breakfast Club Film Review

Monday, January 11th, 2016

            High School is an important part in many adolescents’ lives. Stereotypes have been a large part of the high school experience as well as the amount of pressure that comes with the high school experience. These stereotypes and pressures that come along with high school inadvertently place labels on teens and can cause different psychological issues to arise. This film creates a different look at stereotypes and tries to break behind the mask of some of the most popular stereotypes and pressures in high school.

            One of the main points that was made throughout the movie was the relationship between the stereotype that each character fit into and their true identity behind that mask. One scene in particular that really got behind the stereotypes of each character was the scene when all five members of the “breakfast club” were talking and confessing as to why they were in detention in the first place. This scene in the movie showed each one of the character’s stereotypes and the ideas that everyone had of each other. Andrew, the jock, is considered to be not as intelligent as others and not able to think for himself. Brian, the brain, is considered to have the perfect family life and the perfect grades. Allison, the basket case, is called weird and crazy based of off her actions Claire, the princess, is considered pretentious and conceited. Lastly, Bender, the criminal, is the image of a trouble child who is there just to be rebellious.

            In this scene, the topic of stereotypes shows up and tries to debunk those ideas. It is clearly shown that each character fears breaking out from that stereotype. In the article by Dovidio, Major, and Crocker, they state that being aware of a person’s certain stereotype can actually cause the person to feel vulnerable under that stereotype. They may start to behave differently because of the image that their stereotype has. This is displayed in the movie, when Claire is talking about ignoring those in detention later in school because of her friend’s reactions. She understands that her stereotype group does not associate with the brains and the basket cases so she must change her behavior in order to still feel like an important member of her group. Also, Brian has a similar situation when in comes to his grades. He cannot let people know that he is failing woodshop because that does not go along with his stereotype of being a brain. These stereotypes start to create undue pressure of high school students which the movie also highlights.           

            Another important theme that is brought out throughout the rest of the movie is the topic of pressure that high school students are under. Since these stereotypes are so pressed down on students, the pressure that comes from them is huge. An example of this shown in the movie, was Brian and his failing grade. The reason that he was in detention was because he had a gun in his locker that accidently went off. The audience later finds out that this gun was going to be used to kill himself. His reasoning for this is because he failed one of his classes. In the article, “Parents Embrace Documentary on Pressures of School”, one person is quoted as saying, “They’re spitting back but not retaining the information.” This shows the idea today that critical thinking is not valued as much as it was in the past. Passing grades are what are considered the most important thing now.           

This movie gives a great example of the struggles of high school students when it comes to stereotypes and pressure. The movie highlights some of the drastic measures that some students take because they believe that it is their only choice. It highlights the struggles of fitting in in a high school setting and how important stereotypes are in those settings. This film should be seen for anyone interested in stereotypes and the pressures of adolescents.