'Breakfast Club' reading: Jason Reitman heads to detention
Angeleno fans of John Hughes’ 1980s coming-of-age favorite “The Breakfast Club” will have the opportunity to experience the tale a little differently Thursday night.
Filmmaker Jason Reitman (“Juno," “Up in the Air”) will direct a live reading of the screenplay for the movie as part of Film Independent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s new series, helping us wonder, once again, if Barry Manilow knows that Mr. Vernon raids his wardrobe.
Mindy Kaling, Patton Oswalt, Jennifer Garner and James Van Der Beek will be on hand to play the roles originated by Ally Sheedy's goth girl, Anthony Michael Hall's nerd, Molly Ringwald's popular chick and Emilio Estevez's jock, respectively, and give new life to the story of students bonding in the detention room at Shermer High. The actors will offer their interpretations on the classic lines, while Reitman will call out directions on the stage.
Reitman told 24 Frames that he was motivated to stage the unusual event because most filmgoers don't get a chance to see how actors arrive at their characters. “It's exciting to see a role developed from start to finish,” Reitman said.
And “The Breakfast Club,” he noted, particularly lends itself to the format. “It's almost a play — even characters saying these great lines. It's easy to imagine the scenes as you listen.”
LACMA's film program has attempted several novel initiatives under new chief Elvis Mitchell. The curator told The Times recently that he wanted to expand the definition of a film series beyond simple screenings. He has high hopes for Reitman’s live-reading concept. “I think in some way [it] will change the way people look at movies,” Mitchell said. (By Wednesday, the reading was listed as sold out.)
And Reitman? He wants to, well, buy another Saturday. The directo aims to organize script reads from other films, with different casts, at LACMA in the coming months. That is, assuming Thursday's idea succeeds. “I have no idea if it will work. It just seemed like a really interesting experiment," he said. "If it doesn’t, I guess we’ll be a one-hit wonder.”
— Steven Zeitchik
Photo: "The Breakfast Club." Credit: Universal Pictures