One of the greatest movie disappointments is the scene in the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club when “basket case” Allison Reynolds, played by Ally Sheedy, gets a “makeover.” The makeover in question just consisted of wearing a frilly outfit and having her makeup done by the preppy Claire, played by Molly Ringwald. It was supposed to be this big “a-ha” moment when she finally gets noticed by the other misfits as something other than an outcast. The problem is…that’s a pretty crummy message to send teens.
Sheedy recently spoke with Page Six saying the transformation was “uncomfortable.” “It was one of those things, though. It was the ’80s, and we got to take this young woman who seems like a crazy person and make her into, you know, somebody pretty or whatever it was.”
True, the “makeover” trope was big in the ’80s and actually still happens today (see 2015’s cringe-worthy teen flick The Duff) but normally ends with the main character realizing that maybe, just maybe, beauty comes from the inside…or something along those lines. But that didn’t happen in The Breakfast Club.
The iconic scene is often criticized by viewers for its shallow message: that if you put a bow in your hair and wear pink, people will think you are more approachable. Sheedy argued that “Allison is much more delicious before the hair bow goes on.” Sheedy said she had originally fought the director on it, but ultimately thought the movie wouldn’t be as big of a hit as it turned out to be, let alone still be criticized to this day.
“I had no idea that the movie was going to be such a success,” Sheedy said. “I didn’t really understand how much [of a] success it was at the time. I didn’t have any idea that it would continue going on and have this extended life.” If an extended life means going viral on Twitter once every few months for the uncomfortable scene, then yes! It has quite an extended life.