Laney Boggs from She’s All That or Brian Johnson from The Breakfast Club
The nerd is portrayed as socially useless and uncivilized but is intellectually motivated (Shary 32). Nerds do not have the admiration of their adolescent counterparts and have various names associated with them such as whiz, geeks, dweebs, dorks and brains. Most movies featuring dorks disclose that they, like the majority of school characters, are merely under pressure to be understood and recognized in the visage of social cruelty. They are excessively vulnerable and are subjugated to assist struggling students achieve academic excellence. Dweebs most frequently attain their freedom through some desertion of academics to gain popularity in active sport participation, love wrangles or indulging in crime. A reaffirmation of the cost of learning as a means of life is a constant feature. Nerds have an obligation to make the most influential denials of their proper nature to give them a distinctive sense of triumph and respect.
Brian Johnson is the geek, the grind and a teacher’s pet in The Breakfast Club. He finds himself in detention after a flare gun goes off in his locker. His quote from the script scrutinizes Mr. Vernon, an assistant principal, for an essay telling him who he thinks the people in detention are. In Vernon’s eyes, they are seen in their simplest terms and most fitting definitions. According to Johnson, what he has realized is that each of them is an intellect. He is known for constantly getting the excellent grades and seems to be heading in the correct direction. Constant pressure from his parents results in him attaining a bad grade. The result is a complete loss of self-esteem since his motivation comes from his grades. Brian’s ego is effortlessly shattered by peer pressure. However, in the Breakfast Club he realizes that his counterparts have it worse than him.
Laney Boggs, in She’s All That, is the stereotypical outsider geek girl who is an art student. She becomes the woman at her home after her mother died of leukemia while Laney was young. She works part time at a restaurant and participates in a marginal recital art group. Splatter girl is her nickname at school because of regularly wearing paint-stained clothes. Laney is also considered inaccessible and scary by her peers. However, she slowly warms up to Dean, her theatre counterpart and emerges out of her shell after a makeover. This results to an immediate rise in her popularity and is almost crowned prom queen. She eventually becomes the overall uncrowned queen.
In Timothy Shary’s view, the nerd seeks a way out of his constant oppression by coming out of their normal self. This has been shown clearly in Laney’s transformation from an unreachable character to a people’s queen. Her geek nature is transformed to a socially accepted and theatrical character. Her need to transform is highly portrayed when she gives in to a makeover and ultimately falls in love.
Brian Johnson is seen as an active participant in science clubs and theoretical issues. He keeps steadfast to this, and the change that occurs in his role is an uplifting of self worth. A deeper look at his detention mates shifts all his problem views, and he sees that he is not that badly off. An overall need to change in character and society role is not fully depicted. A revolution from a worthless and impolite character to an unrivalled beauty and popular teen is best shown in Laney Boggs. This perfectly fits the nerd’s description for acknowledgment and a thirst for liberty.
Shary, Timothy. Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002. Print.
Tanen, Ned, John Hughes, Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony M. Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Ruth T. Del, Dede Allen, Keith Forsey, Marilyn Vance, and John W. Corso. The Breakfast Club. Universal City, CA: Universal, 2003.