What is this generation’s Breakfast Club?
A very heavy question indeed.
The Breakfast Club defined the 80s in a number of different ways. It was
an exploration of the culture at the time, by taking five characters from
different social “classes” in high school and forcing them together in a
Saturday detention. This movie was so many things to so many people in
the 80s. So what cinematic equivalent do we have for this generation?
Three movies come to mind.
Will Ferrell‘s big break back in 2004 was probably the defining movie of
my senior year of high school. To this day I can probably grab three of
my friends at random and reenact the entire movie, line for line. It left
that deep of an impact on myself, and just about every other guy my age I
have ever met. While Anchorman had the popularity of The Breakfast Club,
the subject matter wasn’t even close. TBC was a reflection of the culture
and an exploration of our differences. So what movie hits on the subject
Jason Reitman‘s second feature length film tells the tale of an
unintentional teen pregnancy. While much of the film is tied up in Juno
being obnoxiously quirky, her relationships with those around her really
anchor the film and delve into contemporary issues. Specifically her
interactions with Mark, one of the parents who plan to adopt Juno’s unborn
child. Their relationship really questions how to define the phrase
“growing up”. Is it a moment in time when your maturity just kicks in?
Etc. The issues that Juno grapples with are very real.
But Anchorman never really crossed the gender barrier (I know exactly one
girl who actually likes it) and Juno never really got achieved the
recognition that The Breakfast Club had.
So what movie has it all? The relevance, the notoriety, the popularity,
the familiarity and any other synonyms you can think of for “people know
This movie isn’t terribly deep, but I cannot think of another film that my
generation embraced as deeply as the Hangover. A contributing factor is
that the subject matter is familiar to anybody in our generation who ever
partied. I still want to know where that chicken came from. Despite the
fact that the movie is for guys and starring guys, it seems to have
crossed the gender barrier. Even though the women in the movie fit one of
two categories: “present” and “bitch”. I know just as many girls as guys
who love The Hangover.
I hereby thus do so heretofore declare The Hangover to be The Breakfast
Club of our generation.
For Attebiz Movie Reviews, I’m the J-Man.