Before anyone jumps on me for writing a post that isn’t about social media, please read it all the way through. Then you can jump on me all you want!
In 1985, John Hughes wrote and directed The Breakfast Club. It helped push the careers of five rising stars to achieve relative success. These members of The Brat Pack were quoted, emulated, and launched into the yearly playing schedule on TBS 23 years after the film was made.
In this era of unoriginality in Hollywood, they really should considered making a new version that takes everything about the movie a little closer to the edge. Why?
Claire Standish – The Princess
While Molly Ringwald did a fine job playing the spoiled but sensitive popular girl in the original, her problems were just too minimal. You didn’t really feel that she was that snobbish, that pressured, or even that popular. Plug in Lindsay Lohan and make her a real bitch. Should’t be a stretch.
First, you have to make her more evil. Moviegoers love a pretty girl they hate. It isn’t that we have anything against pretty girls, but the ones who start off mean, learn their lesson, then befriend a geek or two are the ones who make today’s movies more enjoyable. It’s sad, but true. The new version of Claire made it to Saturday detention because she spread photoshopped images of her ex-boyfriend and her ex-best friend engaging in Paris Hilton style activities.
Brian Ralph Johnson – The Brain
He was troubled by getting a B, so he decided to try to kill himself with a flare gun. Sadly, comically, it went off in his locker. Anthony Michael Hall played this role as perfectly as anyone could have. He had the credentials through nerd role after nerd role before buffing up and turning psychic around the turn of the century. It will be hard to beat his performance, but we have someone in mind who should give him a run for his money.
Plug in Jason Schwartzman and you have a new age of nerd. Today’s nerds aren’t socially clueless like they once were. The Internet itself gives them resources for being semi-cool that they never had before. Now, at least, they can turn “hip” into a research project and have all the answers they need. With Schwartzman, the “I got a B so now I must die” argument doesn’t play. No, it needs to have more substance, more reality, more 21st century teen turmoil than a simple B. Our nerd is a hack. He did get a B, but instead of ending his promising future with Apple, he decided to make it more assured by changing it to an A. He would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for his uncontrollable desire to flunk one of the jocks out of their sports scholarships.
Andrew Clark – The Jock
Yes, wrestling is a sport, and wrestlers are jocks. Yes, Emilio Estevez could have been a wrestler. Still, it’s just hard to imagine calling Emilio Estevez a jock. But, throw in a sporty tank top in the 80’s and you’re a jock, so we went with it. This version of Andy picked on a younger member of his wrestling squad, duct taping his ass cheeks together. Funny, mean, but just wouldn’t fit in today’s world. In 1985, it was a prank. In 2009, it would be a sexual assault, so we’ll scratch it with the new version.
No, our choice for jock will be more focused on the end goal. He wants to make it to college sports and on to professional football or basketball or whatever, so, in keeping with the news of the era, our jock gets caught with performance enhancing drugs. Tom Welling played a jock in Cheaper by the Dozen and a super jock in Smallville. Why not be a Breakfast Club jock as well. It will be more believable coming from him when he says, “Two hits. I hit you, you hit the floor.”
Allison Reynolds – The Basketcase
Here is a big challenge. Where else can you find an actress who can shake her dandruff onto her paper so convincingly? This character was different from the beginning. Once we find out the reason she was in detention (she had nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon), we started thinking that there was some kind of mental issue here. She ended up pretty normally, even though her parents still ignored her and she most likely reverted to her black mascara.
The new version needs more issues. Getting ignored is normal for teens in the 21st century. We need something juicy. A drug addiction makes the most sense here. Our reinvented Allison is a meth-head. Basketcase means something totally different, but at least we won’t be whining about where this character fits into this group. Now, the actress: Julia Stiles. I know — too clean cut, too well spoken, too old, too… whatever. My only reply is: exactly. She needs a role that takes her to the edge. There is talent there, we just haven’t pushed her yet. This role will. It could easily be the central role in the whole movie.
John Bender – The Criminal
This one is the most important role in the new film, just as it was in the old film. It represented the real issues of the 80’s. It wasn’t the most common person from the perspective of teens being able to relate to him, but John Bender was the guy we rooted for. He was the jerk, but with a good heart. We liked it when he was right and the jock was wrong. We loved him when he then took the heat for it to allow the others to escape. Self-sacrifice. John Bender, the Judd Nelson version, was the first teen anti-hero (arguably).
Today, it doesn’t necessarily take a tough guy to be tough, a hard guy to be hard. Today, the loose cannons in school are the ones that you see and say “he could be normal”, but there’s just something not clicking for him. Shia Labeouf is our 21st century anti-hero. Don’t think he could do it? Read about him. You’ll soon see that, if it wasn’t for his break in Hollywood, he may have become the character we are describing. One difference in this version versus the original — this one headbutts the principal when he gets in his face.
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While I really wanted to get into the plot, we’ll have to save it for a future post. This one just turned out too long. So what does The Breakfast Club have to do with anything social? Not much. Just wanted to write it because it sounded interesting.
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