Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

The Breakfast Chicks

Saturday, March 24, 1984, Shermer High School—It begins at 7:00 A.M. with five students serving detention. Each one coming from a different background. Each one has a reason for being there.

“… And these children
that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They’re quite aware
of what they’re going through…”

David Bowie

Allison & Claire
Allison & Claire

The John Hughes film The Breakfast Club defined a generation. The song Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds became an anthem. For those of us who can remember that far back, we knew who the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal were. We walked the halls. We stayed in our cliques. The one thing we had in common though was we were all going through the same growing pains. Somehow, we could relate with each other.

Two characters in the movie, Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) and Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) have their problems. Claire’s last name should be Standoffish, since she is a stuck-up little rich girl who daddy pampered all the way to high school. Allison, on the other hand, blends in with the scenery. No one really notices her and no one really cares. Together, they make up the girls of The Breakfast Club.

Claire is a self-absorbed user with nothing on her mind other than herself. In Claire’s world no else matters other than what she buys, who’s she with, and what looks good on her. Don’t be fooled. What she represents is an image her spoiled friends will accept. In that hard shell, however, lies a person with a heart. She feels the awkwardness of being well off, and wishes she wasn’t an object her parents use to get back at each other.

Allison calls herself a nymphomaniac, but later admits to being a compulsive liar. Of course, no one knows this until she opens her mouth and spews out lie after lie to those gullible enough to believe her. Like Claire, Allison pretends to be someone else in order to feel accepted by others. Teen angst runs through her veins and her biggest problem is her parents ignoring her.

The Breakfast ChicksIn spite of their problems, Claire and Allison recognize who they are in a group therapy session. Meant to spark resolution, the students bare their souls to reveal their true selves to those willing to identify with them.

The results?

Dear Mr. Vernon.

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, with the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain. And an athlete. And a basket case. A princess. And a criminal. Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours,

The Breakfast Club.

Women Who Wow Wednesday has always been about strong women. Claire and Allison belong here. Their confession to who they are and what they pretend to be provides an opportunity for those wondering what life really was like in the 80’s. In reality though, life in the 80’s was not much different to the way life is now.

Everyone pretends. Everyone wants to be accepted.

If you’re from that era, what does The Breakfast Club mean to you? Who do you identify with in the group?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Marion Ravenwood

If there were a word to describe the dark-haired beauty Karen Allen played in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it would be feisty. I could have chosen fiery, but fiery gives the connotation she has a temper, something I’d attribute to any Molly Ringwald character from the ‘80s. No, feisty’s more like it. Besides, what better way to add another entry to my Women Who Wow Wednesday series than to feature the feisty love interest of Indiana Jones?

Indiana Jones' Marion
Indiana Jones’ Marion

The first time we meet the character Marion Ravenwood is in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones, the adventurous archeologist, visits her in Nepal. Before he enters the scene, she has her hands full in an all-out drinking game. There must have been at least twenty or thirty shot glasses on her side of the table. Whatever the amount, she easily out drinks this burly beast of a man who passes out as a token to her win.

When Indiana Jones shows up, the smile on her face couldn’t be bigger. Long lost love. Past moments. Regrets. This is how it all went down:

Indiana: Hello, Marion.
Marion: Indiana Jones. I always knew some day you’d come walking back through my door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. So, what are you doing here in Nepal?
Indiana: I need one of the pieces your father collected.
[Marion surprises him with a right cross to the jaw]
Marion: I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years!
Indiana: I never meant to hurt you.
Marion: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it!
Indiana: You knew what you were doing.
Marion: Now I do. This is my place. Get out!

Feisty much? Never one to fold, Marion digs her heels.

Indiana: I can only say I’m sorry so many times.
Marion: Well, say it again anyway!
Indiana: Sorry.

Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood

Unfortunately, her bar goes up in smoke when a firefight breaks out between Indiana and the Nazis looking for the same artifact. Seeking payment for the destruction of her place from her former lover, Indiana becomes her new partner.

From there they travel to Tanis, Egypt where Marion finds herself threatened by a knife-wielding hood, is captured by the Nazis, attempts to escape, gets interrogated, is left for dead in an ancient Egyptian tomb with Indiana, fights a brood of snakes, escapes again (this time with Indy), and manages to thwart the transport of the ark to Cairo by single-handedly commandeering a plane and firing its machine guns on the Nazis. Whew!

This girl never lets up! Marion can find herself in the worst possible scenario, and no matter what, she’ll find a way to make it all better. Nothing seems to throw her in the dumps. She’s a fireball of energy. A spitfire of a maiden. A true-to-form overcomer. If anyone needs help, it’ll be the other guy because she’s the one who’ll cause the trouble.

Indiana Jones, you’ve met your match.

Ever see Raiders of the Lost Ark? What did you think of Marion?