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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

December 1, 2009

8/10 Forged Signatures

If only skipping school was actually this awesome…man, I wouldn’t have made it to Sophomore year.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is about the most popular kid in school/town/the universe that plays hooky for a day in downtown Chicago with the girlfriend that he’s gonna marry someday and his best friend who’s suffering a mid-life crisis at the age of 16. The school principal catches onto Ferris’ plans, so does Ferris’ tight-ass sister, and they both spend the rest of the day trying to catch Ferris red-handed, but since Ferris is such a badass, this task proves surprisingly difficult for the two.

The point is, my High School years have never seemed so lame. Score another one for John Hughes.

And that’s probably the biggest draw to this movie: creating the ultimate fake sick day. It’s the thing every High Schooler aspires to and I doubt anyone has ever had a day off like Ferris.

That’s because Ferris Bueller is the ideal teen – popular without trying, humble to boot, and full of life because there’s so much of it take advantage of. I’m impressed Matthew Broderick went on to establish himself as an accomplished actor after this came out – I’d thank Glory for that one – because Ferris is a role that I think would be hard to escape. You can’t help but like him, partly because he breaks through that fourth wall and actually talks to you for a good deal of the movie, partly because everyone inside and out of the movie wants to be him, and partly out of envy since there’s no way in hell you’re parents, let alone your principal, would ever let you get away with the kind of shit he pulls off.

But for some reason, Ferris always comes second to his best friend, Cameron, for me. Maybe it’s because he’s more like the personification of how we would actually spend a day off, but Cameron just feels more relatable in a endearingly pathetic kinda way. He’s got the most character development, the scene where he chews out Principal Rooney over the phone while pretending to be Sloan’s father is the funniest bit in the movie, and come on, he kills the car. He might be a mopey bastard, but I like Cameron.

Gotta love the jersey, too.

And what ever happened to Mia Sara? You’d think playing Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend would be a freakin’ launching pad for the girl. Eh, who knows.

Not really sure what to say about Jeffrey Jones nowadays either, but hey, he’s totally hilarious as Principal Rooney. At least he’s got that going for him.

But the heart of Ferris Bueller boils down to its final message: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller‘s Day Off is about enjoying life and Ferris Bueller is the perfect embodiment of that very sentiment. Being that the most I’ve ever accomplished from faking sick is managing to play video games for eight hours straight – bathroom breaks excluded – the idea that we all have the potential to get off our asses and sing The Beatles on a parade float to thousands of adoring strangers is one that hits close to home.

Man, this is one of the John Hughes greats (voted by you readers as “THE BEST JOHN HUGHES MOVIE OF ALL-TIME!” in fact in a weekly poll a while back). It’s really funny, riddled with great, believable characters and a great plot line that only goes from awesome to more awesome, and, if anything, it just serves as one more example of how well Hughes could timelessly capture the voice and mindset of youth while keeping it funny and relevant for people of all ages. There’ve been countless imitators, but no one’s said it better and no one probably ever will.

Still not my favorite Hughes effort, but who am I kidding, Ferris Bueller is forever. And give it up for Ben Stein, folks.

Oh, and there’s a great cameo here by Charlie Sheen, too. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009 6:24 am

    ‘Not really sure what to say about Jeffrey Jones nowadays either’
    yeah, i can see why – he was done for child porn.
    oh, and ferris bueller is the most annoying character in movie history
    a complete dick.

    • December 2, 2009 8:24 am

      hahaha, first time I’ve heard that take on Ferris, but hey, that’s cool, man.

  2. March 14, 2010 2:29 pm

    I do love this movie a lot, but it’s been far too long since I’ve seen it, almost five years I’d reckon.

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