Saint Mary's sociology professor Robert Bulman offers insight on the relevance and influence of 1980s teen movies in the new book "You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation."
Bulman says films about suburban teen rebellion and angst such as the now classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Sixteen Candles" had qualities that elevated them to cinematic fairy tales that entertained and provided important lessons for movie-goers.
However, he also says films featuring "Brat Pack" actors such as Robert Downey Jr., Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy primarily focused on an idealized white teenage experience. And while rebellion was often a theme, Bulman points to the "Breakfast Club" - where Goth girl Ally Sheedy peels off her dark make-up and clothing to reveal a colorful feminine top - to illustrate the teen films still carried messages of conformity for young women. "To have her character go through a transformation to be accepted - that goes against the theme. That scene always kind of breaks my heart," said Bulman.