Posts Tagged ‘Pegagogy’

The Breakfast Club

August 20, 2010

The cast of the original Breakfast Club movie (L-R): Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Humbert Humbert, Joseph Goebels, Baron Harkonnen, Silvio Berlusconi

All around us, the 1980s revival is gaining momentum like a landslide of discarded school dinners. Soon we shall all be buried under a slurry of Turkey Twizzlers and A-Team lunchboxes. Hooray. In the spirit of this horrific and unstoppable cultural phenomenon I hereby propose a remake of ‘The Breakfast Club’. Roll up your sleeves, my honorary script consultants, and let’s work up a treatment for this badboy:

In the main, the changes will concern the teenage archetypes represented by the central characters. The original Breakfast Club featured a Jock (a Scottish person), a Geek (a performer of grotesque or depraved acts at a carnival), a Prom Queen (a man who dresses up as a woman), and some other chumps. But these categories do not apply to today’s youth. Today’s youth runs in a different set of packs, which the new Breakfast Club will have to reflect. Here are the characters of the new Breakfast Club, for your consideration:

Higher brain functions are for lame-os, right? Right! That’s certainly what Benny thinks. Benny is a Lobotomoid. The members of this youth clique shun intellectual exchange and scientific endeavour as if they were last year’s faeces. They listen to the Ramones and dribble. They hang around the swimming pool and groan. The really hardcore ones wear soiled surgical gowns. But Benny isn’t one of the really hardcore ones. In the course of the film Benny realises that he is just insecure about being annoying, but that it’s ok to be insecure and annoying.

Our next pubescent hero, Tilly, belongs to a subcultural group known as The Chucklers. These cheery chappies listen exclusively to novelty records and dress like children’s TV presenters. They each have their own hand puppets (Tilly’s puppet is a skunk called Teddy Tuppence). But watch out! Like orthodox Sikhs, The Chucklers conceal sharp curved blades beneath their brightly coloured garments, lest anyone try to interfere with their puppets or their limited edition Timmy Mallett ‘Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ 7-inches. In the course of the film Tilly loses her virginity to a meaty man-giant and burns Teddy Tuppence in a bid to distance herself from her former fellow gangmembers. Poor Teddy Tuppence: thou wert a martyr to the passing of adolescence.

The joker of this flimsy piece is Roland, who is a Tiny-Mouth. Tiny-Mouths register their disapproval of mainstream culture by refusing to open their facial orifices more than half a centimetre. It is through this narrow aperture that they issue withering put-downs, such as “Check out those Gapers” (in Tiny-Mouth-speak, a Gaper is a non-Tiny-Mouth). Tiny-Mouths subsist entirely on small seeds and tic-tac mints. At first Roland is hostile to his fellow members of the Breakfast Club (whom he refers to as “Gaping Fritzls”), but by the end of the film he has got over himself and eats whole Weetabix biscuits in one bite, like some kind of pornographic snake. Good for him.

The Average Student is represented in this film by the character of Bob. Bob likes sheds, pork chops, checked shirts, his uncle Colin, volleyball and masturbation. He dislikes death, being bored, indigestion, people with crazy eyes, his uncle Ernie and Saturday afternoon television. Although he is initially sceptical of the other students, with their high-concept lifestyles and eccentric mannerisms, he comes to accept them for their individuality.

By the end of the film all of the characters dance together in a liberating and affirming way, and collectively express their individuality in such a way as to challenge our preconceptions.  The film comes to be viewed as a seminal expression of the hopes and dreams of a whole new generation, until it is remade again in 2032.