As a child of the 1980s, I should have known all of the films of John Hughes. Sadly my library of VHS tapes at the time didn't have any of his films. That didn't change much in the 1990s as I became a teenager or even in the 2000's with me now as an adult (and with DVDs as opposed to VHS).
As we discuss the constant falings of our school system here in Chicago to educate our children, I think of John Hughes. The Breakfast Club, which was released 25 years ago, is one of the best of his collection and perfectly illustrates for me the human factor missing in the efforts to save our children. This may seem like an insane idea, but if we don't understand the kids we are teaching, how can we teach them?
Life is rough. It's even rougher when you are younger and learning your way in the world. I imagine when your parents are so caught up in their own dysfunction that taking care of your kids and their emotional growth becomes secondary, that you are bound to come up gasping for air exhausted by everything that life throws at you. This is especially true when you are a teenager.
Ally Sheedy, who plays the moody Allison in the film, gave what I thought was an interesting truth in this scene.
I bet there are many kids out there now who wear those words in their hearts. Given how many people have died in this city this summer alone, perhaps that is the one reason life is taken so quickly. Perhaps our children, who are now growing into adults, are dying inside.
Maybe we all, as a condition of what's around us now, are dying inside and accepting a life as part of the living dead.
The Breakfast Club is a teen movie to some, but to me it's a small film with a big mirror reflecting, no matter what race, the struggle of what it means to grow up and figure out the world around us; and most importantly, oursleves.