The carefree years vs. the petty years
At one time or another, a movie is made about every generation. Dazed and Confused is for the 1970s group of Americans (during the coming of age) when bellbottoms and marijuana were the fashion, drinking and driving had yet to become unthinkable, and safe sex was used only to avoid pregnancy. The Breakfast Club is a remembrance of the 1980s era of pegged jeans, glitter and leg warmers, when AIDS started but only through rumors, and drugs were the only escape. Throughout the precedent decades teens in schools across the country experience a society that consists of social groups, also known as cliques.
Cliques, which are natural to American society, can take the concentration off of the anxiety and reason each teenager sets foot in a high school. Dazed and Confused and The Breakfast Club are perfect examples of the typical American high school.
Dazed and Confused follows the lives of various groups of teenagers, during the last day of school in 1976, as they stray around their hometown. The movie is all about their philosophies on life, work, love and especially their futures that we never hear about. Among the characters, there is Randall Floyd a young football player, pressured into choosing between being drug-free or authority-free. Then there is Mitch, an upcoming high school freshman trying to fit in, who spends the day running away from the senior hazing team, while attempting to hang out with the older crowd.
Its a time when everyone wastes their lives away in the carefree high school years together no matter who you are.
The movie is not only funny and entertaining. It is a historic document of life, and is one of the most honest teen movies in the movie archives. The message of the movie is not much but to stand up for what you believe and resist all authority. Dazed and Confused captures the “have fun now before it’s too late” state of mind better than, say, The Breakfast Club, which goes out of its way to show that teens from all different lifestyles have serious problems no matter what clique youre from.
Taking place almost entirely in a high school library, The Breakfast Club, is about five completely different students spending their Saturday in detention for one wrongdoing or another or even because they had nothing else to do.
This is a perfect representative cross-section of every high school in North America. The characters are the basic teen stereotypes, the geek, the outcast, the rich pretty-girl snob, the jock, and the future criminal all in a search for meaning. Being from such widely different backgrounds and having completely different personalities, it’s inevitable that some tension and conflict will develop. They all have their extremely 80’s problems aired in their extremely 80’s environment.
These people, the geeks, the future criminals, and the outcasts..
. they were no different from my high school really. They were just as scared as I was, had the same thoughts and emotions and experienced the same pressure as I did. I had just never had a chance to talk to them honestly. Every teen character in these movies can be related to someone we knew in high school. They all exist, to some degree or another, in the classrooms of every high school.
These five characters in the Breakfast Club would normally never associate with each other, but the circumstances force them to get to know each other and eventually become friends. In Dazed and Confused however, drugs and alcohol brings the kids together to celebrate the last day of school. Many dont like the role they portrayed in the high-school scene but it is practically inescapable.
The way people are in high school does not say much about what they will be like in the future. In todays society many people who portray a certain character in high school become something of the total opposite. High School is the end of the adolescent years; but, the beginning of finding out who you really are.
Many feel that they are still recovering from the drama and pressure that they incurred during the high school years. .