I picked up the local paper yesterday to discover that my all-time favorite teen 80s film, John Hughes' The Breakfast Club, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. My initial reaction was, "They MUST have done the math wrong." But then my 12-year-old son kindly reminded me of how old I am. He's so helpful.
With that said, I put the article aside because I just wasn't ready to read it - are all 40-somethings this damn sentimental!?
This morning, I felt brave enough to tackle this realization. And, upon finishing the article by Leslie Gray Streeter, I looked at my husband and asked, "Think he's ready for it?"
The Breakfast Club is R-rated mainly because of the language, but, sadly, it's nothing my son hasn't heard before having a New York Italian as a mother. Fine, there's also the pot smoking scene. But, frankly, I've spoken to my son about drugs so what's the big deal, right? Except that in The Breakfast Club, it looks REALLLLY fun. So that might not be the deterrent I'm looking for.
Oh, yes, and there's the scene where Judd Nelson puts his face in Molly Ringwald's crotch, as Streeter kindly reminds us of in her article. However, that will be a perfect example for my son of what NOT to do and perfect timing with my post on talking to your teens about sexual violence.
Okay, so that's about it, right? Would I be a terrible parent if I let my seventh-grader watch it? Personally, I think the messages the movie has far outweigh the above concerns. The main message? No matter how different you think others outside your "social niche" might be, deep down you're all going through personal struggles and insecurities. We are not all that different despite the self-imposed teenage labels that are prominent in every high school in America.
HOWEVER, there are more elements for parents to consider. The characters also discuss their sexual experiences, domestic violence, and suicide. Do I really want to explain what a nymphomaniac is to my 12-year old? No, not really. So, guess this one, even the television version, will just have to wait a couple of years.
But that doesn't mean I can't catch this one in the theater again! Special viewings are being offered in select theaters nationwide on March 26 and March 31.
In the end, this classic 1985 film of five very different high-school students who are forced to spend a Saturday in detention will forever remain dear to me and I look forward to the day when my sons are old enough to experience it for themselves.
Ms. Streeter hit the nail on the head in her article when she wonders if, "they all at least nodded at each other in the hall on Monday." And, I agree with her - probably not, and what a sad commentary on life that is.
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