Tuesday, October 25, 2011
It's no secret I have great admiration for John Hughes. It's hard for anyone who didn't come of age during the 1980s to not be permanently attached to multiple films he did. I wrote a small post when Hughes died here. I'm shocked that Hollywood hasn't pilfered the man's creative ashes in watered down, piece of sh*t cash-in remakes for the younger set, which kind of gives me reason to worry after watching the live read. Slimy Hollywood producers might have had a lightning bolt moment as the crowd lapped up the classic dialogue performed on stage with this alternate cast: "Hey, let's revisit The Breakfast Club and make it up to date for kids in 2012." Ugh. No, thank you.
I find the current onslaught of remakes disgusting. I've written about it before and will likely write about it in the future. But, the idea of a live, on-stage reading of a script is an exciting idea that combines elements of low-key theatre and the actual movie itself. The Breakfast Club script is so completely self-contained [most of the action takes place in a library with five major characters], that it is a great choice for this kind of exorcise. Plus, it's a wonderful script from Hughes, full of anger, humor, awkwardness and a heavy dose of '80s slang.
Among the actors who I felt did the best with the material were Patton Oswalt and Aaron Paul. I was kind of surprised by Oswalt as he's not someone that I've been a huge fan of, but he completely got the tender pain of the "geek" character and even executed a perfectly timed spit-take [I'm a huge lover of the old-school spit-take!] that seemed to be unplanned and unexpected by the rest of the cast. Paul, playing the flashiest role in the script as "Bender" [Judd Nelson's role in the original film] also delivered an edgy performance that combined the appropriate raging while literally slouching in his chair when apathy and disgust were needed.
There are five planned readings in this program curated by Reitman. I don't know what November's film will be, but I'll be in the theatre and we already have our tickets. I have heard a rumor of one of the hopefuls and if true, I might be more excited to see this one than I was to see The Breakfast Club. I don't want to spoil it in case it doesn't come to fruition, but it's another movie that is in my all-time top 100.
***Photo from left to right: Jason Reitman, JK Simmons, Patton Oswalt, Jennifer Garner, Aaron Paul, Mindy Kaling and James Van Der Beek. October 2011 @ LACMA, Los Angeles, California.
***Image credit: Vivien Killiles/Film Independent/WireImage.com
Posted by Joshua Blevins Peck at 7:27 AM