The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club

A Cranky Quibble

“The Breakfast Club” was one of my favorite movies as a teenager for its portrayal of kids from completely different backgrounds learning to understand and empathize with each other during a long Saturday of detention. My wife, who is twelve years younger than me, watched it with me a couple of years ago and just couldn't stop laughing at the eighties clothes, hair and dialogue. I had to assure her repeatedly that people actually did look that way and talk that way when I was in high school.

Seeing it again after all these years, I still thought it was pretty good- but it also kind of irritated me. The thing that rubbed me the wrong way was how the “basket case” character (the goth chick) had to get a makeover at the end before she could blossom and smile and win the heart of the jock.


I've known a lot of goth girls. I've dated some. They just aren't like that. The whole premise of this scene is that the goth girl only dresses in black because she lacks self-esteem, and what she really wants is to be a pretty popular girl. The actual goth girls I've known dress the way they do because that just happens to be the aesthetic they enjoy the most. It goes with the music they like and the books they like and the movies they like. They are usually quite outgoing and happy in their own circles, and they would look at a really mainstream jock guy as being some sort of weird alien- just as he would see them.


People are actually different, you know. The freaks aren't just wallflowers waiting to blossom- they actually like being freaks. Learning to empathize with other people shouldn't be about learning to be “normal.” Everybody is already just as normal as they need to be!