When it came to ’80s teen life, John Hughes wrote the book. Then adapted the book into a screenplay, produced it, directed it and picked the soundtrack. First up in this collection is The Breakfast Club. Ignore the fact that the fashions, slang and music are now museum pieces and there’s still something fresh-faced and sweetly sparky about Hughes’ tale of mismatched teens (“A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal...”) saddled with Saturday morning detention. Mawkish sentiment runs like a river through the movie, but Hughes’ ear for real teen speak and grasp of full-throated comedy just about sees it through.
The same’s true of his directorial debut Sixteen Candles, where Hughes’ muse Molly Ringwald faces up to the trials and tribulations of turning 16. The jokes are slightly broader and the plot too familiar for it to clutch onto genre-classic status, but it’s an enjoyable laugher nonetheless.
Weird Science, meanwhile, is barking. A geeky teen Pygmalion in which Anthony Michael Hall (the only actor in all three of these films) and his nerdy buddy somehow use their computer to create the perfect woman (Kelly Le Brock). Cue saucy adventures as she turns their lives around. It’s an adolescent boy’s wet dream fantasy, but executed with such tongue-in-cheek gusto that you simply have to grin along. Only the two-disc Breakfast Club is available separately, so go for the boxset – just six quid more and you get the others and a bonus platter of extras.