You haven’t seen “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”?! Where were you in the 80’s? Well, if you are really one of the few people out there who have not enjoyed this excellent movie, written, directed, and co-produced by John Hughes, you are in for a real treat.
The movie is made by the outstanding characters and their unique personalities. Meet Ferris Bueller, played by Matthew Broderick. He is a senior in high school who believes there is more to life than school. Playing hookie is his forte and making the best of each sick day is his most endearing quality. Bueller is relaxed, cool, manipulative and arrogant. He’s the upper-class kid that everyone adores, with two exceptions: his sister and his principal. His sister got a car and he got a computer, but he puts his computer to good use, rigging it up to make him seem terribly sick.
Throughout the movie, Bueller often speaks directs to the viewer, looking directly at the camera. It creates an amusing effect. His lines are very funny. For example he educates the viewer, “The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you that a good phony fever is a dead lock, but, uh… you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor’s office. That’s worse than school. You fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.”
Bueller’s best friend, Cameron Frye, played by Alan Ruck, is also a graduating senior who is at home truly feeling sick. It is likely his sickness is psychosomatic. This kid obviously has severe problems. He is uptight, stressed out, and fearful. He fears his dad greatly and does not want to get in trouble with anyone, but his deep devotion for his best friend, Bueller, overrides his best judgement. None-the-less, he refuses to have fun and enjoy his life. Ferris Bueller is effective, however, in pushing him over the edge and helping him reach his catharsis, that he is angry at his father for loving his sports car more than him and he has to take a stand in his life.
Everyone knows some one like Frye. He’s the kid who nervously twitches in corner picking at his fingernails. He’s the kid who keeps his room immaculate and worries about a spec on the floor. He’s the man who cannot relax and cannot live in the moment. Bueller arrives at Frye’s house and states to the camera, “The place is like a museum. It’s very beautiful and very cold, and you’re not allowed to touch anything.”
He goes on to say, “If anyone needs a day off, it’s Cameron. He has a lot of things to sort out before he graduates. Can’t be wound up this tight and go to college, his roommate will kill him.” However, Bueller knows the best therapy for Cameron Frye. He manipulates him into taking his dad’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California out for a ride.
Frye reluctantly contacts the school principle and, portraying Bueller’s girlfriend’s father, gets her out of school for the day. The beautiful Sloan Peterson, played by Mia Sara, is Bueller’s girlfriend. The principal is Ed Rooney, played by Jeffrey Jones. Rooney believes Bueller is behind it all and, after numerous humiliating experiences, becomes obsessed in catching him. In the meantime, Bueller, Frye, and Peterson are out experiencing a beautiful day in Chicago. They visit a museum and an upscale restaurant, joy-ride in the Ferrari, and even ride in a parade. Bueller is the hit of the parade, of course, and sings “Twist and Shout.”
No matter what, Bueller plays it cool. Despite close calls with his Dad, his sister, the principal, the maitre D’ and “problems” with the Ferrari, he remains light-hearted, happy, and cool. By the end of the day, Rooney is a tattered mess, Bueller’s goody-goody jealous sister, Jean “Shauna” Bueller, (played by Jennifer Grey) hooks up with a jailed drug-user played by Charlie Sheen, his girlfriend loves him all the more, and his best friend finds himself. Bueller, of course, makes it home just in time at which point his parents pamper their poor little sick angel. At his house are flowers from his many adoring fans wishing him to get well soon.
Bueller reminds us all that he doesn’t have it all, after all, his sister got a car and he got a computer. However, he certainly lives life to the fullest and reminds us all to lighten up and “live a little.” The plot is cute and nice, but the extremely funny lines and well-defined personalities is what makes the show. The movie leaves the viewer wanting more for sure. In fact, most viewers will actually sit through all the credits, at which point Bueller comes back out and says, “… You’re still here? It’s over!”
This 1986 movie is probably the classic 80’s movie and shouldn’t be missed by anyone. It will keep you smiling, laughing, and even have you on the edge of your seat. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy yourself as you watch this very pleasant, happy, and perhaps life-changing (if you are anything like Frye) movie. You will not be disappointed.