The Breakfast Club is a movie following five students in detention on a Saturday. Initially, the children are not willing to speak to one another, but after Bender, the “criminal”, relentlessly pesters them, they begin to open up to each other. It is an enjoyable movie with a happy ending. While the development of the characters’ relationships is brief, and they suddenly become friends, it is sort of believable. Most of my enjoyment came from the funnier parts of the film as opposed to the happier ones. Despite the film still being funny, its age is quite apparent, especially in the ridiculous dance scene, but it is still quite enjoyable. The film also covers several things related to school life, healthy relationships, and healthy decisions.
The film covers factors that contribute to a safe school environment. In the intro, the narrator addresses his teacher in an essay:”You see us as you want to see us…You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basketcase, a princess, and a criminal”. The narrator suggests that students are labelled and grouped together based on little real information about them. This contributes to an unsafe school environment. Putting these labels on them strips students of their identity and segregates them. This prevents real interaction between different people. Students are unable to relate with and understand each other. In a system like this, conflict is much more likely, and it is difficult for students to work together. Another point where this Plo is mentioned is when Bender takes a screw out of the door. Despite the other kids clearly disliking him, they do not tell the teacher about his actions. This displays a sort of code of conduct that students have adopted. Telling on, or “snitching” is seen as a cowardly thing to do. Students are hesitant to tell teachers when they are bullied, or when they see someone behaving badly. This allows children to get away with reprehensible behaviour with little to no consequence. A school striving for a safe environment would hope to rid itself of both of these factors.
In the scene where each of the students opens up to each other covers skills needed to build and maintain healthy relationships. Before this scene, the kids are strangers to each other. They do not know each other so they can not have a real relationship. Once they open up to each other and really talk, they are able to look past each other’s images and empathise. By communicating with one another, they are able to relate and understand each other, an important part of a healthy relationship. The students see that their problems are rooted in their parents. They find something they have in common, and they are able to think of each other as more similar than different. Furthermore, they discuss their futures together. They do not hesitate to touch uncomfortable subjects. This allows them to solve future problems through effective communication, another skill needed to maintain healthy relationships.
The scene where Bender asks Claire if she is a virgin covers healthy sexual decision making. Bender seems to mock Claire for lacking sexual experience. He mocks her for being a virgin. This is covered again when Bender asks Brian the same question, and he lies to prevent the truth about him being a virgin from coming out. Being a virgin has somehow become a bad thing to young people. This pressures people into making hasty and irresponsible sexual decisions early in life.
The scene where they discuss marijuana covers strategies for preventing substance abuse. None of the children know anything about substance abuse. They do not know anything about marijuana, or its effects. They have only heard rumours and folktales about it. Later, they do not hesitate very much when presented with a chance to experience marijuana for themselves and go along with Bender. If they properly educated themselves about substance abuse, they would have made the better decision to avoid it. This also covers the potential effects of an individual’s health-related decisions on self, family, and community. Bender’s decision to smoke marijuana lead the rest of the children to follow in his steps and smoke with him. In a school setting, this is dangerous. Since many students idolise and copy popular students, if rumours of one smoking or doing other drugs were spread, there could be grave consequences. This goes for parents and siblings as well.
The movie is quite old, but some of it still rings true today. While the stereotypes are taken to the extreme in the movie, they are present in high school life. The nerd, for example, is definitely present in high school life, as someone who stresses over their grades more than necessary. Another thing that is present, is the “us vs them” relationship the kids have with their teacher. It is not rare to hear children talking about how much they hate their teachers. So, while the film takes everything to a extreme level, it does