Monday, February 15, 2016

745. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Directed by John Hughes

I think that this is a film that literally everyone can relate to.  I remember my high school math teacher used to play this for us when he didn't feel like teaching.  Most of his word problems started with "If I hang myself at this angle..." so perhaps there were deeper issues there.  Anyway, my point is high school is bleak and I think adults tend to romanticize the time spent there.  At the very least I am sure we all fantasize about skipping work.

Ferris Bueller is a high school senior who decides to play sick to get out of going to school.  He frequently breaks the fourth wall and advises the audience on how to emulate his carefree lifestyle.  He quickly recruits his girlfriend Sloane and his best friend Cameron to join him for a day of fun in Chicago.  Principal Rooney (who is creepily obsessed with Ferris) realizes that he is playing hooky and tries to catch him in the act.

I thought Ferris was a fascinating character.  His need to always be the center of attention reminded me of a lot of people I went to high school with.  Of course, I was too nerdy and weird to talk to most people in high school, so someone like Ferris wouldn't even have been aware of my existence.  In a lot of ways I relate to Cameron, who always seems to have a nervous breakdown at the thought of getting in trouble.  Anyway, this film lets the nerdiest among us live out a fantasy.

Just plain fun.  I wish we weren't done with John Hughes.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey became engaged later in life.

John Hughes wrote the script in six days.


  1. Generation gap time Amanda.
    Sorry, I'm afraid I cannot stand the arrogant self centered spoilt materialistic 'look at me I'm the cool privileged kid' little shit. Even the Euro pinko rebel in me cannot stop me siding with the teacher.
    Spot the fellow nerd Amanda?

    1. Haha it's usually me not liking something because of our generation gap. I often take the side of the authority figure, like in Rebel Without A Cause. But Ferris seemed pretty harmless. I bet you were cool in high school! Or I guess it would be secondary school.

  2. Oh good grief no. I was more outsider weedy sappy kid than any you've seen in a film that didn't start murdering their class mates. I was more oddball and uncool than any Woody Allan representation ...I hated my school days. Sheer misery. Totally traumatising .. still not got over them.
    I still have time to start tracking down everyone I was at school with to inflict weird deaths on them. I think I'll start tomorrow.

  3. I'll begin by declaring myself firmly for the Uncool Nerd Party, as it seems to matter when debating this film.

    I know where Ray is coming from about Ferris being a smart-arse brat. There were a lot of characters like that in US films and television around that time. So I do need to fight down the urge to dislike him just a little bit, but overall I think it stays on the right side of the line and Matthew Broderick plays it with all the right charisma whereas another actor might have struggled to be likeable with this script. He may be no nerd, but he's no jock either. Perhaps he's supposed to be a super-human hero for the nerds to look up to and ends up being enjoyed by the jock viewers for his confidence anyway?

    I read an article a few months back arguing that Ferris was in fact a lonely, attention-seeking loser who deserved our sympathy, not our admiration. I can't find it now to share with you though.

  4. Haha I'm still not over mine either Ray. That sounds interesting Dessie. I read an article that argued Ferris was just a figment of Cameron's imagination.

  5. Dessie, thank you. Your simple phrase "a smart-arse brat" was much more succinct than my rambling. You make a good point that "he's no jock either", and I'm intrigued by the idea your mentioned article proposed .. but I still want to see him taken down a smug peg or two.