The Breakfast Club

It is Saturday at 7:45 a.m. I could be doing any number of things.  I could still be lounging in bed (Impossible… I have been awake for hours and am incapable of sleeping past 6 a.m.) I could be relaxing with a cup of coffee and the NY Times. (Already been there, done that today.) Or, I could be having an early workout at the gym. (A strong contender, as that’s often where I am at this hour… but not today.)  On this particular Saturday morning, I am doing none of these things.

Actually, I am sitting inside a movie theater on State Street in Santa Barbara, California. I am attending the city’s 31st annual film festival and am waiting for the 8 a.m. showing of “Au Plus Pres du Soleil” (“Too Close to the Sun,”) a French-Canadian film, to begin. Until today, I was unaware that movie screenings ever happened earlier than noon.

As the lights begin to dim, the film festival host walks up to the front of the theater to greet the surprisingly alert crowd of 40-50 people (yes- there are other slightly crazy morning movie goers besides me!) and enthusiastically welcomes The Breakfast Club. With this reference to the iconic 1980’s ‘brat pack’ film (one of my old favorites,) the crowd breaks out in giddy cheers. I smile, proud to be a part of this singular group. We all share a special kinship that is vaguely reminiscent of a pre-dawn swim in an icy lake with the polar bear club at summer camp. Granted, this hour is not quite as early as the polar bear swims I recall from my youth (nor is the weather as cold,) but the experience feels similar. I am part of something larger than myself- and it is about more than just awakening early to see a film. This is an adventure.

Not only is the 8 a.m. movie a great way to avoid the lines that precede the afternoon and evening film fest screenings, but also, for those of us who are early risers, it provides an interesting and amusing morning activity to do while our slumber-craving loved ones sleep in.  Most importantly, it delivers entry into a distinctive club of fun-loving trendsetters who like to try new things.

By the time the film lets out, my husband will just be waking up and we will have the entire day to enjoy together. Long live The Breakfast Club!


Film Fest Theater


The Breakfast Clubbers queue up


State Street, Saturday morning at 7:20 a.m.


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