The Breakfast Club: John Hughes, Hollywood, and the Golden Age of the Teen Film (Cinema and Youth Cultures)

November 29, 2020
The Breakfast Club: John Hughes, Hollywood, and the Golden Age of the Teen Film (Cinema and Youth Cultures)

The Breakfast Club is a quintessential teen film. Thisbook analyzes how multiple factors coalesced to solidify the statusof The Breakfast Club as one of the most emblematic filmsof the 1980s and one of the most definitive teen films of thegenre. The film brings together genre-defining elements – theconflicts between generations and peer pressure, archetypicalcharacters and breaking down stereotypes, the celebration andsurvival of adolescence, and the importance of this time in life onthe coming-of-age process – and became a significant moment forJohn Hughes as an auteur and for teen films in the 1980s. More thanjust embodying these elements of the genre, filmmaker Hughes andthe Brat Pack stars helped introduce and popularize multiplegeneric features that would come to be expected with the teen filmformula. The content of the film combined with its context ofproduction in the middle of a boom in teen filmmaking in Hollywood.Meanwhile, the marketing that focused on contemporary music, peergroup dynamics, and oppositions between Generation X and babyboomers, merged with an enthusiastic reception by youth audiences.Its endurance speaks to the way the film’s level of importance as acritical, commercial, and influential film with tremendous impacthas grown since its initial debut.