Monday, January 30, 2012

MARQUEE SHOWDOWN #3: Breakfast vs Pie


WHY?
Because I keep hearing Generation Yers saying that the latter is an update of the former, which as both a movie nut AND a Gen-Xer couldn't offend me more. Maybe I'm overreacting, but let's take a look at the comparative breakdown.


THE PLAYERS:
  • Breakfast Club - Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald. These guys had such a deep impact on their target audience, they were rewarded with their own brand name: The Brat Pack. They were the hottest thing in town, popped up everywhere, and all of them had the whole wide world at their feet. The proverbial candle, it turns out, burned in the wind. Nelson proved to be as un-sociable as Bender, Estevez tried directing and still tries to this day, Hall spiralled down in the "lifestyle" for a long time before re-merging as a respected TV actor, and the two girls outgrew their demo and were forgotten like so many other young women in H'wood. Still, their names represent 80s youth like few other things can.
  • American Pie - Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Sean William Scott, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Mena Suvari, Allison Hannigan, Tara Reid, Eddie Hay Thomas. Like the Packers, these young people were the talk of the town, and all had script offers up the wazoo, especially Klein who was considered the next Golden Boy. Hannigan turned to TV and still thrives thanks to Barney Stinson's bunch, Scott's wild energy keeps him going like a pink bunny with a drum, and Biggs still pops up here and there. The rest either became tabloid fodder or industry clich├ęs. If it wasn't for the sequels, they'd probably have become a crew of bitter barristas, a cautionary tale of meteoric rise over true talent development.
  • ADVANTAGE Breakfast Club (because Anthony Michael Hall scored a part in The Dark Knight!)

BOX-OFFICE: 
  • Breakfast Club  - Unknown production budget (or undisclosed...). Domestic theatrical take of $45M  (Domestic Total Adj. Gross: $102,605,300)  with an addition $5M world wide. It could've -and was supposed to- generate at least 2 sequels with 5-year gaps each time involving a reunion of the group, but director John Hughes and star Judd Nelson apparently disliked each other from the start, and it only got worse...
  • American Pie  - $11M budget. Domestic take of $102.5M (Domestic Total Adj. Gross:$160,302,000) , with an additional $132M world wide. In other words, VERY lucrative movie. Hence the 3 sequels and shitty direct-to-video offsprings. Not like the cast has anything better to do...
  • ADVANTAGE:  American Pie

RATINGS:
  • Breakfast Club -  MetaCritic=62%, IMDb= 7.9, Rotten Tomatoes= 91%, Rogert Ebert= 3/5
  • American Pie - MetaCritic=58%, IMDb= 6.9, Rotten Tomatoes= 60%, Roger Ebert= 3/5
  • ADVANTAGE:  Breakfast Club

ANALYSIS:
  • The Breakfast Club gave rise to a genre largely absent from the multiplex until then: films purely for adolescents. It gave a lost generation with no goal and no purpose a calling card and a chance to feel normal since everyone could identify with at least one of the characters.It was a comedy but never went for the cheap laughs, focusing instead on de-constructing the characters that composed not only the film but our every day lives. Almost 30 years later it is still regarded as a turning point for 80s youth, and a classic that none shall ever even dare remake. Legend has it John Hughes initially cut a 160-minutes version, which only he ever had a copy of. Meaning MAYBE in another 25 years someone will "find" it and have it released.
  • Late-90s teenagers got exactly what they wanted with Pie: crude humour, alternative music soundtrack, (some) hot chicks and (some) cute guys. It wasn't trying to be anything philosophical or secretly much deeper than the sum of its d*ck & fart jokes, but was comfortable catering to the crowd. And let's face it, most people were simply curious about the trailer's implied scene of Jason Biggs violating Betty Crocker's labour of love. And to hopefully see Shannon Elizabeth's fun bags. Of course I'm old, but to me it doesn't age very well.


WINNER: Breakfast Club    By way of quality and truly passing the test of time. And because Anthony Michael Hall scored a part in The Dark friggin Knight.

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