*Disclaimer: This post contains potential spoilers for both The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Since these two films register pretty high on the pop culture meter it would be pretty hard to talk about either of them without giving away some plot details from either film. Though major spoilers will not be given, certain plot details will be mentioned and possibly discussed. You have been warned.
Yes, we are here today to throw the gauntlet down to Ferris Bueller fans and say that The Breakfast Club is the better John Hughes movie and should be the CLEAR CHOICE for Consolidated’s September Hana Hou Picture Show (HHPS). Though it is the clear choice, we still need your help. The goal of this post is to persuade potential voters (you, dear reader) into voting for The Breakfast Club on Consolidated’s Facebook page–or if you’ve already voted , to change your vote. Court is now in session.
Argument: Numbers Don’t Lie
Evidence: The Breakfast Club is a more critically acclaimed and fan loved than Ferris Bueller’s Day of and Grease. Take a look at these stats:
The Breakfast Club :: Rotten Tomatoes: 90%, MetaCritic: 62, Flixster: 90%, IMDB Score: 7.9
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off :: Rotten Tomatoes: 84%, MetaCritic: 60, Flixster: 89%, IMDB Score: 7.9
Grease :: Rotten Tomatoes: 82%, MetaCritic: 70, Flixster: 85%, IMDB Score: 7.0
Now I know what some of you might be saying . . . “well, critic ratings and reviews by other people don’t mean anything to me.” And you know what, you’re right. Just like box office receipts, in the grand scheme of things reviews and similar ratings don’t mean much if you don’t agree with those results. Now yes, Grease’s Metacritic score is higher than The Breakfast Club’s, even still though, Breakfast Club beats it in all other categories. Now, I’m not one to torpedo my own argument just as we’re getting started here. My inclusion of these scores is mainly to serve as anecdotal/circumstantial evidence that is just part of my larger case. So please, bear with me.
Argument: It’s a more relatable movie
Evidence: Don’t get me wrong, at some point in our lives any of us would have loved to have been Sloane or Cameron and spent a crazy day playing hookie from work or school with Ferris Bueller. The fact of the matter is, I think few of us (if any) ever took in a Cubs game, stole lunch reservations from the sausage king of Chicago, or became part of a parade on any of our days off.
The Breakfast Club could be anyone of us and finds its humor with the relatable plight of our five protagonists: the nerd, the popular girl, the jock, the badboy, and that weird girl. Yes, these are high school stereotypes, but stereotypes are generally based on some type of truth. I think that any of us that have gone through high school will be able to identify people we know in this film if not see ourselves in it. Now it may not be an exact match, hell it may even be a combination of personalities from in the film, but the fact of the matter is those protagonists represent the audience.
High school struggle is something that Hollywood has mined for years, but The Breakfast Club was one of the ones that got it so right. Saturday detention, five students who all walk in different social circles, the über hardass principal . . . how situations in the film are dealt with are all things that are illustrated perfectly both humorously and seriously. I believe that when you can relate to something that is going on in a film, it’s that much better because it almost seems true to life, and true to you.
Argument: Less is More
Evidence: While it’s easy to enjoy the fanciful jaunt that Ferris and company take on their day off, I think that if a film can give you a good time AND stick to a singular setting, then that’s when you know you have some really great filmmaking. Setting wise, The Breakfast Club does more with less. Since The Breakfast Club takes place at a high school (a majority of which is in the school’s library) it doesn’t have the benefit of putting characters in unique environments and situations that arise from being in those environments like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off does. It has to work within the confines of Saturday detention.
When you’re restricted to just a few locations in a film, it’s easy for things to get boring and stale since your characters don’t have anywhere to go. They mainly have to interact with one another. What makes The Breakfast Club so great is that the film doesn’t fall into this trap due to great writing and great filmmaking. It’s a better film because it focuses on the characters and tells a really great story about them. It also finds ways to be entertaining and engrossing that work within the confines of a small setting.
Argument: Breakfast Club has the better [bad] principal
Evidence: Great villains usually make for a great story and The Breakfast Club is no exception with Principal Vernon. Oh sure Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has Principal Rooney who tries to hunt down Ferris, but the fact of the matter is, Rooney is a doofus. We pretty much laugh at him during the entire film, then at the end, you just kind of feel sorry for him during that final scene during the credits.
With The Breakfast Club, you hate Principal Vernon the entire time. “Show Dick some respect!” No thank you. He despises his job, the school, and even the students (and takes his agression out on them too) . . . the perfect villain for our five protagonists to go up against. He’s someone you love to hate and someone that makes you cheer for our characters all that much more.
Argument: Better Quotes
“Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns.”
“Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.”
“Eat my shorts.”
“Two hits. Me hitting you. You hitting the floor.”
. . . and these are just to name a few. Yeah, yeah . . . I know Ferris has “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Aside from that, and Ferris talking to the audience, what does it really have? Bueller Bueller Bueller? Ben Stein made that line.
Also, The Breakfast Club has one of the best songs to ever close out a film . . . Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds.
Argument: The Breakfast Club is an underdog
Evidence: Let’s face it, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is the most well known John Hughes movie. How can The Breakfast Club compete against that kind of popularity? By being the underdog that’s how! David vs Goliath, Average Joe’s vs Globo-Gym, hell even UH vs BYU . . . history, America, and Hawaii all love underdog stories. Isn’t it about time we had one for Consolidated’s Hana Hou Picture Show?
A vote for The Breakfast Club (scroll down) is a vote for underdogs everywhere!
For the record, I do not hate Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I love that movie just as much as anyone else. I just like The Breakfast Club just that much more. So having said my piece, I welcome any and all friendly debate on the subject. In the end, I know a lot of this is pretty subjective and we all have personal preferences that no one will be able to assuage. This is just a friendly call to action for local film lovers who enjoy seeing their favorite films on the big screen again.
However, the Red Band Project will GUARANTEE that you will have a good time if The Breakfast Club is shown at the next Hana Hou Picture Show!