I missed this by a few weeks...
March 26, 1984: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you're crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out, is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basketcase, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.
I was struck by this thought last night when TiVo served up a butchered "edited-for-television" version of The Breakfast Club. Coincidentally (or not, actually) I had recorded St. Elmo's Fire as well. Brat-pack galore, I know, but my wife hasn't seen these movies and I think they're an important pop-culture reference for her to have. Okay, yeah, fine. I like these flicks alot as well, sue me.
Here's a couple thoughts: First, that fictional day of detention was exactly TWENTY years ago. Oh. My. God. Excuse me while I have a small crisis.
Okay, second thought: I was a bit behind on those movies in terms of age. I was 12 in 1984 yet the kids in the movie were supposedly teens around 15 or 16 or so (too young to drive themselves to school). So that meant when I saw the movie they all seemed cool and older. I couldn't wait to be cool and older like them. (They also went to a high-school that was killer. The libraries in my schools never looked anything like that school. I wanted to go to school there.) Anyways, what this means is that even though I've grown up, I can't shake that sensation of wanting to be the older kids - even though they're all children compared to me now.
It's even *more* profound for St. Elmo's Fire, which is about leaving college and going out into the "real world." Wow. I remember seeing that and thinking about that time in my life when I was going to be out of school and being a real adult, etc. It fills me with a profound sadness that I've now overshot that moment by a decade... Not the entering part, but the leaving...
It's not the movies, or the realization of the time that's passed really, it's that sense of wonder and awe at what the future held. I remember that sensation more than anything. And that's what makes me watch these movies with a sense of awe and a bit of sadness, really. That future is now.
I mean, hey, that future isn't bad, but still. You know what I mean... :-)