It’s the movies that mean something to you when you’re sixteen, seventeen–they matter when you’re 46, 47.
So I jumped at the chance to attend the 30th anniversary screening of “The Breakfast Club,” and I jumped UP AND DOWN at the chance to hear from Molly Ringwald and meet her, too!
You see, those movies…
The Breakfast Club
Pretty in Pink
All starring Molly Ringwald?
Those were my jam. And getting a chance to actually meet the woman who portrayed Sam, Claire, and Andie?
That is my jam, now.
So, for all you 80’s girls (and boys?) who have the same jam, here are my takeaways from An Evening with Bender, Brian, Claire, Alison, and Andy–The Breakfast Club.
11 Thoughts About Meeting Molly Ringwald, the 80’s “Brat Pack,” and Watching “The Breakfast Club” as the Mother of Teenagers
1. From the opening notes of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds, I was time traveling like Marty McFly.
2. I remember as a teenager thinking Bender was scary, and Allison was kinda gross (the dandruff scene IS a little gross). But now I just thought about how broken and lost those poor kids are. Also: That Allison is pretty, and sweet.
3. I had forgotten all about the Captain Crunch sandwich.
4. I have seen every one of those kids in my writing classes: The Brain, the Princess, the Criminal, the Outcast, and the Jock (“Sporto”). The more things change, the more they stay the same.
5. Back in the day, I related wholly to Claire, Molly Ringwald’s spoiled snob and prom queen, even though I was none of those things. Now I see how those five characters represent different parts of us all, of me. Even the jock. (Emilio Esteves is soooo good in this movie. I had no idea.)
6. Guess who Molly related the most to? Brian, played by her pal Anthony Michael Hall. “He put so much pressure on himself; he was so hard on himself,” she said. Insightful on her part. Never woulda guessed it.
7. Seeing TBC as a mom of teenagers was acutely different than seeing it as a teenager. As Molly herself said during the Q and A after the movie,
“It’s a one-sided story. All these kids have parents, and their parents probably aren’t nearly as bad as they think, with the exception of Bender’s dad.”
ALSO: The language! TBC would be rated R today!
8. I loved hearing Molly talk about her formative friendship with director/writer John Hughes, who died in 2009. The trilogy of films they did together, she said, revealed much more about him than any of his other films. Hughes would give her mix tapes, and drive her and Anthony Michael (whom she calls Michael) all over the Chicago he adored. She obviously revered him.
9. The one question Molly will not answer is:
“Did you date anyone in the cast?”
“Next,” she said, dryly.
(No, that was NOT my question.) She told me later she is ALWAYS asked that. And also if she can put lipstick on with her boobs.
10. “The Breakfast Club” should never be remade (although a play would be sensational, don’t you think?). “Only remake movies where they don’t get it right,” MM said. And I agree. Anyone like the remake of “Footloose” better than the original? I rest my case.
11. Meeting Molly was a revelation. We are the exact same age (she’s about 5 weeks older), and I was 16 when I saw–and swooned–over “Sixteen Candles”. I never got the chance to interview her in my seventeen and a half year entertainment writing career, and this was my chance to say hi and maybe get to know her a little, tiny bit.
We talked about baby names, because she did a bang-up job naming her babies (Matilda, 12, Adele and Roman, 6). She lit up when we talked about this, and just for a few minutes, we were two moms, talking about a subject that interested us both.
I praised her husband’s name, Panio (it’s Greek, and delicious). She said I should consider it for my next baby name book.
If I ever do get to write my hoped for “A is for Anastasia: Baby Names from Around the World,” you know Panio is going in.
I thought she was gracious, pretty, and interesting to talk to. I had heard she was not so nice from more than one person, but to me, she was pretty great.
It was one of those grand nights where past and present collide, but it was more like bumping into someone I liked, rather than a car crash.
1985 me and 2015 me considered each other with respect and warmth, and a few dots were connected. Kind of like my 25th HS reunion, a few years ago, but featuring Molly Ringwald and canapes.
We’ve come a long way, baby, I thought to myself.
By the way, if you love the 80’s like I love the eighties, do not miss this scrumptious throwback to Bonne Bell, Jean Nate, and the days when our bangs were “sprayed to a crisp.” Golden stuff, right here.
“It’s the time of your life that may last a lifetime” is the tagline for “Sixteen Candles.
And in some ways, that’s just about right.
What’s YOUR Favorite movie from when you were a teenager?
What would you ask its star?