Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Brat Pack

I am a kid of the 80s and I totally love the era; the cool music, the wonderful films and ever so glam TV. Ok the fashion was a bit iffy, what with the over sized t-shirts, the leggings and shoulder pads but man those were some great times. One of major things that came out of that decade were coming of age movies such as The Breakfast Club, St Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The themes tended to be middle class teen or early twenties angst set against a backdrop of a large city. The stars in these films were Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Demi Moore who were dubbed The Brat Pack in reference in the 1950s Rat Pack. Last week I had an 80s movie marathon and watched Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's Fire. Pretty in Pink stars Molly Ringwald, a beautiful boho who is from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for one of the rich guys at her school. The Breakfast Club is a story of five teenagers who represent a different clique from their school who are forced to spend Saturday in detention together. After telling stories, insulting each other, dancing and opening up, the group discover that they have a lot more in common then they originally thought. St Elmo's Fire is a slightly more sophisticated film, that features a group of friends who have just graduated from University.

While watching these films it became apparent to me how influential these movies were on the industry. The Breakfast Club is ranked number one on Entertainment Weekly's list as the 50 Best High School Movies and has had a huge impact on the teen film genre and popular culture. The theme song, 'Don't You Forget About Me' by Simple Minds was a massive hit and reached number one in the US. With no Pretty in Pink, there would be no Clueless, Legally Blonde and Mean Girls. Also the close knit friendships of the characters in St Elmo's Fire is akin to those in Friends and Sex in the City. The colourful characters and wonderful dialogue in all films appears as funny and fresh as ever and you have to pinch yourself to make sure that you are watching a film from 20 years ago.

3 cool comments:

Jamal Bonner said...

The other aspect of these films you discuss is they truly paved the way for the attention paid to the movie soundtracks. Are there teenage films made today which can't point to having a number of featured artists? Pioneering pieces these teens won't appreciate.

MsQuiche said...

Loved all the films you mentioned. Had a bit of a crush on Andrew Mcarthy too.

pumpkinmommy said...

To remember you are watching an 80s film, you have to either pinch yourself or look at the hairstyles! :P