…A night of Breakfast for dinner with a side of ’80s angst
And here’s the song that sparked my late night “Breakfast” craving:
It all started after watching Pitch Perfect (check out my articles from when they filmed at LSU here and here) for the SECOND time in three days. Yes, you read right; I watched the film twice, and thoroughly enjoyed every second of the a cappella frenzy. BTW, Anna Kendrick‘s character is like a music lover’s wet dream: snarky, cute, intelligent and can mix some amazing beats. She is the total package.
During the final competition among the a cappella groups, Kendrick’s group (featuring actors and musicians Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Anna Camp and others) sings a medley of hits based around Simple Minds‘ angst-ridden masterpiece “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” Needless to say, the medley was very well-executed and it is definitely a highlight on the too-short soundtrack — I hope that Pitch Perfect decides to release a Vol. 2 of sorts (similar to what Moulin Rouge did here) with the actual versions of the a cappella performances used in the film, along with Kendrick’s epically awesome mash ups.
Above is a clip from the “Riff-Off,” the “underground street dance for respect” competition all of the Barden University a cappella groups participate in.
These two viewings, along with my recent (two weeks ago) viewing of Easy A (featuring the beautiful and talented Emma Stone), 2010’s teen ode to Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s adulterous novel The Scarlet Letter, spurred on my dive into this cesspool of self-pity, self-loathing and pure innocence, AKA The Breakfast Club.
Okay, so this was the second time I had watched this film, and there were soooooo many things I realized I never caught the first time around, including all of the innuendos and the misogynistic undertones, which rear their ugly head through Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson‘s snippy dialogue exchanges. Between the obvious class and social distinctions among the various detention-goers, I was able to relive the magic of one the best ’80s coming-of-age stories. No matter how much they cried and yelled at each other to stop judging the others, they knew that once they left the four walls of their library that they’d still be the jock, criminal, nerd, princess and basket case. The only difference is that they knew that ALL of them had the same (if not similar) issues and that the grass is always greener wherever you look. I believe it is important to note the amount of pressure these students feel (at least the nerd and jock characters) to be perfect, or exactly what their parents expect them to be. This type of desire for approval can result in destructive behavior, both to the self and others, as was witnessed during the confessions scene.
I find it funny that I react to this film in this manner, especially after I streamed the film Saving Face for my film class. In that film, a Chinese daughter has to deal with the pressures put on her by her mother to find a nice husband, while coping with her own homosexuality. All of these films show protagonists being oppressed by some sort of authority figure, until they realize how little power these people have in their lives. It is at that moment that the films reach their warm and happy climax.
In the end, does it really matter what others think when you believe in yourself? Of course, it’s always a bonus when you have the support of your family and friends, too, but it may not work out in every instance. It is at moments like those that you should look within yourself for that strength and guidance to becoming the best version of yourself. Hopefully we can all learn from the Breakfast Club: people can pass judgements upon us, but don’t let others define who you are; speak up and be the person you want to be.
I’ll leave you with the closing monologue from the film: