I’m hoping to get back into more or less regular blogging by highlighting some of my favorite reads, both on- and offline. When I was a teen, The Breakfast Club was a favorite among my set of friends. My girlfriends and I had a choice of dreamy bad boy or dreamy jock for crush material–no one thought the geek was dreamy back then–and we could either emulate Molly Ringwald or Ally Sheedy, depending on how rebellious we were feeling. I was always Molly Ringwald. I loved her outfit and hair in this film, but to be honest, I don’t remember loving her mind or personality.
It’s hard to go back and watch these teen movies as an adult. At the time, The Breakfast Club felt gritty and more grown-up than the teen movies I was used to seeing. It felt like real kids really talking. But the adult me has to wonder what Molly Ringwald’s character possibly was attracted to in Judd Nelson’s character. Ally Sheedy’s character got made over to be more conventionally attractive; Molly Ringwald’s character didn’t change at all. And the culmination was they each got their guy. Seems like a raw deal, if you ask me.
Molly Ringwald also has trouble rewatching these old teen hits of hers. She is now a thoughtful and thought-provoking writer, and I enjoyed reading her reflections on The Breakfast Club and her other John Hughes movies recently published in The New Yorker. It captures those complicated feelings when our sensibilities outgrow our teen loves, but gives us permission to still feel nostalgic about those old loves and what they meant for us at the time we first encountered them. People are messy, and so is art–and that’s the way it should be.