Classic Movie Thursdays: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

So I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…

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I’m been meaning to watch this movie for quite some time now. With the year coming to an end and the end of university (finally) coming with it, it seems the perfect time to stop and look around before I miss out on life.

OKay, basic plot: Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a high school student who realises that there’s more to life than constantly following the rules and having perfect attendance. One day he decides to take the day off school – feigning an illness – and goes on a escapade around the city with his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and girlfreind, Sloane (Mia Sara). This escapade involves driving a Ferrari, being the headline in a parade and fooling every adult in his life.

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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, no matter how many times you’ve seen a joke, a trope, a cliche you can always tell the movie that did it first/best. That’s what every classic movie has, there’s just a level of quality that identifies the origin of these gimmicks we’ve seen a million times. Watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was like seeing the template that almost every high school comedy I’ve ever seen is based on. This movie’s jokes and dialogue, however, feel fresh and you wouldn’t say that this movie is over thirty years old.

That brings me to my next point, another point I often make about classic films is that they have to be timeless. The themes explored in this movie are universal and still relevant. This is a story about a boy fighting the system. He realises that soon his life will settle down as the minutiae of career, wife and children creep into his life BUT before all that happens, he wants to drink every drop of joy he can. I don’t think the point of this movie is to encourage slacking or make everyone call in sick at work but it’s rather to remind us to seize and enjoy whatever joy we can.

This movie is filled with great dialogue and truly funny jokes. John Hughes wrote and directed this film and I don’t think I’d ever truly taken notice of how many iconic comedies Hughes is behind. From The Breakfast Club to Home Alone. Hughes has forged his place in comedy history. He brings all of this quality to this film and makes it funny but also gives it a coming-of-age centre. Look, Ferris isn’t the typical hero who comes out the end of the story different. He might not learn much but that’s because he knows so much already. He’s a slacker not because he doesn’t wish to apply himself or try his best but rather because he knows there’s more to life than his current situation. So instead of going crazy, bending over backwards for a fleeting phase of his life, he chooses to not only enjoy but also create the little moments of happiness in his life.

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Matthew Broderick is phenomenal in this film! I’ve seen enough of Broderick’s films to know his funny but I’ve never seen him playing a ‘cool’ character before. The thing that actually makes Ferris so cool is that he doesn’t try to be. He has a natural swagger and charm to spare. Broderick plays him perfectly and creates one of the most iconic characters in cinema. Alan Ruck and Mia Sora must also be praised for their performances in their respective supportive roles. Ruck, particularly, impresed me as Cameron who reluctantly (but gratefully) constantly finds himself pulled into Ferris’ schemes.

Now you can’t talk about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off without mentioning the villain of the piece Edward Rooney – the Dean of Students – who throughout the day tries to catch Ferris in the act of bunking school. The character is brought to life brilliantly by Jeffrey Jones – who just after Broderick – gave my favourite performance of the film. You don’t like Rooney but you respect him as a potential threat to our hero’s goals; what more could you ask for from a villain?

Overall, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is an iconic comedy. It features one of the most likeable heroes I’ve ever seen in film and one of the best morales I’ve ever heard in life. So stop and go watch this movie

4 star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Classic Movie Thursdays: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  1. This is a superb film. You’ve hit the nail on the head about Beueller being cool with actually trying to be. He gives the movie it’s charm. I agree, he doesn’t come out different at the end. For that reason, I’ve always thought of this much more a coming of age story for Cameron, who actually has the character arc, despite the focus on Bueller’s antics. And Edward Rooney makes the film. Great review.

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    1. That is a good point. There are several movies where a character like Cameron would be the focus and Bueller would be the bad influence friend that helps break the lead out of his shell. The movie’s decision to switch the focus gives it an edge.

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