The Breakfast Club (1985)
The combination of John Hughes and Molly Ringwald, on film, has a permanent, unshakeable place in my heart, due in part to Molly and I being the same age, and having these movies as markers of my own past, reminders of how they were life preservers and confidantes to me once upon a time, too. It is also due largely to the fact that everything about these films captured what it meant to be a teenager, the writing, the characters, the language – both verbal and physical, and, of course, the music.
The music in these films could have been taken from the record collections my friends and I had in our bedrooms, which, for me, just added to the honesty and realness of what we were experiencing on-screen. To this day, soundtracks to some of the Hughes films are my favorites, and are ones I still listen to, more than often.
The Breakfast Club is filled with moments connected to music that are so memorably intertwined that I cannot hear the songs without seeing the accompanying scenes. Most especially, this first song, the last in the film, with the voiceover of Brian reading the essay they were all meant to write, with each of their voices speaking their defining stereotype, and that moment where John Bender walks across the field and throws his fist in the air in celebration, in exhaltation, in release – taking all of us with him in that moment. That moment, with song and scene, is utterly unforgettable.
The last scene
Don’t You (Forget About Me) :: Simple Minds
The “dance” scene
We Are Not Alone :: Karla DeVito
Fire in the Twilight :: Wang Chung