The Breakfast Club and Les Amants

7:00 AM

Rene Magritte, Les Amants, 1928



If I were to make a list of movies that should be required to watch as a teenager, The Breakfast Club would easily be at the top. The story is based around five very different high schoolers who form a unique bond while stuck in detention on a Saturday for their various indiscretions. Though the movie embodied the teen angst of the 80s, the themes remain extremely relatable today. Though I personally don't know anyone who's taped someone's butt cheeks together, or seen anyone dump Pixi-Sticks on a sandwich, the challenge of finding your identity has some grain of meaning to everyone that watches. Whether you knew it or not, by the end of the movie, you know that "in each one of us there's a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal."

Rene Magritte's Les Amants similarly expresses the theme of "don't judge a book by its cover." By the end of The Breakfast Club, two unlikely couples have formed, Allison and Andy (basket case and athlete) and Bender and Claire (criminal and princess). When I saw this painting, I couldn't help but think how much easier it would be for the two couples if that's what they looked like returning to school the next Monday. Appearance is everything, and Magritte shows how much easier love would be if appearance wasn't a factor. 

On the other hand, the painting also has a sense of emptiness. High school flies by, and all five members of the Breakfast Club struggle to find out what they want to accomplish in that time. The faceless figures seem to have an air of expandability, just one in a crowd. This insignificant feeling makes the ballad "Don't You Forget About Me" in the background all the more powerful.

The Breakfast Club teaches us that the world will "see us as [it] wants to see us," but that we should also learn be happy with who were are.

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