I was with this movie when I was thirteen until the end.
John Bender (Judd Nelson), Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) and Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) all have their own reasons for a Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. detention with Vice Principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason). Before they leave, each of them must write a thousand-word essay that describes who they think they are.
Despite the fact that they all come from different worlds, they’re all living similar lives, crushed by parents who either give them too much or not enough attention. In one day, they all learn that they could be friends.
John Hughes, who wrote, produced and directed this film pretty much ran the 80s when it came to teen films. Of course, the error in this film, the one that never makes sense to me, is when Allison gives up her quirky individuality to put on makeup and become like everyone else. Even when I was young it felt hollow and it seems even more empty today.
P.J. O’Rourke, who worked with Hughes at the National Lampoon, summed up the film in a way that makes me question so much of it. He said that the movie lives up to Hughes’s politics, in that the students do not organize a protest together but, “like good conservatives do, as individuals and place the highest value, like this conservative does, on goofing off. Otherwise known as individual liberty.”
Everyone wants to have a moment of rebellion but when faced with the opportunity, so many of us put on makeup and try to fit right in.