movie analysis

By Bill Long,2014-07-14 09:48
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movie analysis


    The Breakfast Club: Movie Analysis

    Si Chen

    University of Kentucky


    It was my first time to watch the breakfast club in the class, and I was so touched by this

    classic movie. One simple scene, five distinctive characters, plus some profound and trenchant conversations, the movie revealed the ruthlessness of growing up, rebellion and confusion of youth into its full play.

    When we grow up, our hearts die. The students pass the hours in a variety of ways.

    During their conflicts and communications, the six teenagers gradually open up to each other and reveal their inner secrets. They found that they all lost themselves in the adolescence. Finally, they got their conclusion: Everybody is bizarre. Though they were entirely different

    individuals, they had very different personalities, they came from different families, and they had different life ideals, because this was the same, so they became best friends.

    At the beginning and the end of the movie, the similar monologue appeared twice: Dear

    Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong, but we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us in the simplest terms, the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal…” What Mr. Vernon saw these kids are so-called

    stereotyping. Adler and Proctor (2011) define stereotyping as exaggerated generalizations

    associated with a categorizing system (p.86). Mr. Vernon saw Brian as a brain, Andrew as an

    athlete, Alison as a basket case, Claire as a princess, and John as a criminal. He saw each of them as a member of a different high school clique, but they finally found out they are all deeper than their respective stereotypes. So they decided to become friends each other, not just be friends with others who they think belong to the same stereotypes.


    In the second half of the movie, after knowing each other more, the six teenagers started to talk about their families, their friends, and most importantly, why they were here in detention. This was their self-disclosure process. According to Adler and Proctor (2011), self-disclosure is “the process of deliberately revealing information about oneself that is significant and would not normally be known by others” (p. 312). John said that he came from an abusive household,

    which made become what he looked like: a punk. Brian and Claire are ashamed of their virginity. Andrew bullied a boy because he wanted his father to think he was cool. And Alison was not satisfied with her home life so she wanted to subject herself to the streets. In their self-disclosure process, they gained more benefits over risks, they sought social support to make themselves feel better; other benefits of their self-disclosure are catharsis, reciprocity and self-clarification.

    The first step of relational development is initiating. Adler and Proctor (2011) claimed that the goals in the first stage of a relationship are to show that you are interested in making contact and that you are the kind of person worth talking to (p. 276). John did not follow the

    conventional formulas: handshakes, remarks about innocuous subjects like the weather, and friendly expressions (Adler & Proctor, 2011). Instead, he riled the other students, mocking Brian and Andrew, and sexually harassing Claire. Interesting is that his odd initiating way worked and six teenagers started communicating.

    As I see myself, I think the nerd relates the most to my own self-identity because I was one of the top students since primary school. My teachers and classmates sometimes thought the only thing I was good at is study. After I came to America, I did not take part in all the activities the university held. Instead, I stayed home studying and playing with myself. As an indoorsman , I think I can be stereotyped as a nerd, even though I do not like this title.



    Adler, R. B., & Proctor II, R. F. (2011). Looking out, looking in (13th ed.). Boston, MA:


    Hughes, J. (Director). (1985). The breakfast club [Motion picture]. United States: Universal


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