Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back To School ... With A Retro Soundtrack

"The Breakfast Club" is considered one of the best teen movies of my generation, but I never loved it. While I have nostalgic affection for some of the actors, the movie hasn't aged well — especially Judd Nelson's performance, which is straight out of the "The Misunderstood Punk's Handbook."

But it's still mine. Which is why I wasn't prepared to see JC Penney's lame "tribute" — complete with a remake of Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" — in a back-to-school commercial. Did any of the ad people behind this actually watch "The Breakfast Club?" Because it's not about how awesome school is. The Nickelodeon crowd might not make the connection, but their parents — the ones buying the clothes — certainly will.

This is the second time JC Penney has used a Gen X anthem to sell school gear. In 2005, it was Black Sheep's hip-hop classic, "The Choice is Yours." I admit the choreography in that particular commercial is neat, and I'm a sucker for kids who can dance. But it's still weird to see things I once associated with being young and (kinda) edgy being used to sell Arizona jeans. Is this what the boomers were complaining about when Beatles songs began turning up in footwear commercials? Oh, well. It comes for us all, eventually.

And for the record, "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" is the best teen movie of my generation. Even if I was only 12 at the time.


Lyza Lynne said...

If "Fast Times" was your favorite, Ferris Bueller's Day Off has got to be close to the top of the list. ;)

I didn't like Breakfast Club that much either. I liked Pretty in Pink WAY better. Andrew McCarthy... yum. :)

downtown guy said...

I always liked Some Kind of Wonderful best, I think.

You know why 80s teen flicks were better than 90s teen flick? The 80s movies were all about working class/dorky kids coming into their own. The 90s films were all about the problems of upperclass kids.

Also, I, too, was a little weirded out by this ad.

EDP said...

LL, "Ferris Bueller" is VERY close to my heart. I actually owned the novel based on the script, which is a little sad. And for the record, Andrew McCarthy is still hot.

I agree about 80s and 90s flicks, DG. Plus, it seemed like the characters in 80s films were real kids — not impossibly attractive like, say, Alicia Silverstone. Though I do love "Clueless."

downtown guy said...

I may be the only person left in the US who was a teen in the 90s and never saw Clueless.

EDP said...

It's worth seeing, but the men I know tend to be less enthusiastic. My friend Dave actually walked out the theater, he hated it so much.

downtown guy said...

Gotchya. Yeah, it just never struck e as something I really needed to see.