Okay, I don’t often watch the news – I find it depressing and not something I’d like entering my psyche just before going to sleep. I don’t regularly read the newspaper – my mother kindly clips the articles she thinks I’ll be interested in. More often than not I drive to and from work in silence, no radio – my days are usually filled with nonstop calls and crisis and a little quiet at the beginning and end of the day is just what I need.
As a result of my self-imposed current events bubble I often don’t know what’s happening in the world for embarrassing long periods of time. One of these events was the loss of John Hughes. John Hughes was a name that surrounded the movies of my impressionable youth. He was responsible for a movie that still lands in top five of my very long list of favorite movies. And that movie is The Breakfast Club.
I love The Breakfast Club. For me it honestly portrayed the stereotypes of the people I grew up with. The actors played their characters just as the characters they represented played themselves each and every day in the halls of our schools. Each day, struggling to live up to the stereotypes and expectations of their friends and family. It’s often how we survive that stage of our lives and likely how we lived our lives for many years after. The movie revealed how they became what the world saw and how the pressure of those imposed expectations threatened to destroy who they really were. I love their compassionate acknowledgment of each other’s shame and frustration of the role they feel they have no choice but to play in the world. The ensemble forms a strong bond as they realize they are all more alike than not. But in the end, they honestly acknowledge that when they see each other in the halls on the next school day they will likely continue to play their stereotypical roles and their relationships with one another will not change, regardless of what they have learned.
For me, The Breakfast Club was and still is a reminder that when life threatens to stereotype the people around me, the truth is no one is a stereotype. We are all simply individuals trying to put on a brave face, struggling to live up to expectations.
Thanks John, for seeing us all so clearly. For we are all brains, athletes, basket cases, princess’s, criminals, yet so much more in between.