If the Brat Pack movies have taught us anything it's that life as a 1980s teenager was more or less miserable. Your parents sucked. Most of your friends sucked. If you were too smart you were a nerd and if you were dumb you had to play sports. You were either really popular or had one friend, and there was nothing in between these two dichotomies. You were either ridiculously rich and out of touch about life or poor and had to sew your own clothing. There were literal tracks in your neighborhood that separated the wealthy from the blue collars. You were most likely in love with your best friend and he/she had no idea.
Occasionally, your life could turn out OK. Even if your parents were total downers, if you could get them to understand why you needed to spend your entire savings on a girl to prove something to a bunch of jocks, they just might get you. Also, when you least expected it, the upper classman you were crushing on may inexplicably like you. Like, like you like you. And sometimes Dweezil Zappa just showed up out of nowhere.
If this is resonating with you then you are not alone. Calling all you brains, athletes, basket cases, princesses and criminals, it's time to grab your bag lunches and juice boxes (wine juice boxes) because it's Brat Pack time at the Miller Outdoor Theatre and that's, like, totally bitchin'.
Beginning Tuesday, August 21 through August 23, Miller Outdoor will screen three classic Brat Pack flicks, opening with everybody's favorite juvenile delinquents turn friends dramedy, The Breakfast Club.
If you were born before 1964 or after 1981, and are not familiar with the Brat Pack moniker, it was a name given to several actors who appeared in numerous teen-centric films in the 1980s. There doesn't seem to be much agreement on how to define a Brat Packer, but the Wikipedia entry for the word states the following:
The "core" members are Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore,Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy.
James Spader and Robert Downey, Jr. have also been considered members and appeared in several films alongside other Brat Packers, most notably together with Andrew McCarthy in Less Than Zero (Downey was also in two '80s films with Anthony Michael Hall -- Weird Science and Johnny Be Good -- as well as The Pick-up Artist with Molly Ringwald). Other actors who have been linked with the group include Kevin Bacon, Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer, John Cusack, Jami Gertz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Sean Penn, Lou Diamond Phillips, Kiefer Sutherland, and Lea Thompson
So basically, no one knows what constitutes a Brat Packer, and this lack of knowledge will in no way affect the world. Author Susannah Gora's book, You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried, attempts to give an understanding as to the impact the movies had on our culture and her website has a fun, time-wasting "which character are you" quiz.
There are so many wonderful and memorable characters in the Brat Pack movies, some of them we would want to be and some, if we woke up in their shoes, would gag us out till Tuesday. Here are eight Brat Pack characters we wouldn't mind being.
8. Claire Standish
"Do you know how popular I am? I am so popular. Everybody loves me so much at this school," Claire (Molly Ringwald) tells Bender (Judd Nelson) inThe Breakfast Club
. I have no idea how popular she is, but regardless I want to be her. She eats sushi for lunch in high school and it's 1985.
7. Steff McKee
There are few Brat Pack antagonists that rival the utter asshole qualities of Steff McKee (James Spader) inPretty in Pink
, which is what makes him so amazing. It appears that he is the film's loser in the end, but he's too cool for school to really care. He wears white suits with sockless loafers. His hair is feathered and highlighted blond. In the end, really all he has lost is a best friend and ehh... he can always buy another one.
I just really want to look like Kelly LeBrock circa 1985.
5. Long Duk Dong
Who in their right mind wouldn't want to be the Donger (Gedde Watanabe)? Despite his English being terribly poor and the fact that he lives with someone's fuddy-duddy grandparents, his life is pretty sweet as the foreign exchange student inSixteen Candles
. He shows up to a high school dance and immediately gets hammered and then scores with a big bosomed jock named the "Lumberjack."
Maybe Duckie (Jon Cryer), fromPretty in Pink
, doesn't get the girl in the end, but sometimes there are more important things in life. Heart-broken or not, the Duck Man is always stylin', sincere and has the choicest one-liners, such as, "His name is Blane? Oh! That's a major appliance, that's not a name!" And Duckie is cool with Andrew Dice Clay.3. Billy Hicks
If I received three wishes from a genie, three of them would be to have the inherent ability to rip it on the saxophone '80s style, just like Billy Hicks (Rob Lowe) inSt. Elmo's Fire
. Billy is the epitome of rock and roll; he's a boozer, lady's man, he's got great hair, an earring and he's a baby's daddy. Even if most of these are not favorable attributes, I will say this again: he plays '80s sax.
Amongst all of John Hughes' brilliant characters, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), fromSome Kind of Wonderful
, stands out as the only true tomboy in any of his films. Like so many tomboys in movies, Watts is really hot on the inside and worthy of getting the guy of her dreams. Watts is a drummer with a black leather jacket and fringed leather, fingerless gloves. The best part about being Watts is she wins in the end! She beats out Leah Thompson and her ridiculous "bod," and she walks off with Eric Stoltz and his collegiate future in the form of diamond studs.
1. "The Geek"/Farmer Ted
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A nerd is number one? Hell yes! The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall) inSixteen Candles
has a happier ending than any single character in the Brat Pack consortium. Here are the things the Geek gets in the end:
A pair of panties 12 floppy discs An "in" at the cool senior party The opportunity to drive a Rolls Royce A drunk chick who is ready to bang The respect and admiration of his fellow geeks Brat Pack at the Miller Outdoor Theatre runs from August 21 through August 23. Movies begin at 8:15 p.m. Visit milleroutdoortheatre.com for more information.