FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
“Bueller. Bueller. Bueller. Bueller…”
The monotonous drone of a zombie-esque teacher goes unnoticed as the rumor spreads like wildfire around the classroom. Ferris (Matthew Broderick, pre-becoming Mr Sarah Jessica Parker) is absent from school. Why? Nobody’s quite sure, but they’re pretty certain he’s on his deathbed: “My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.”
I suppose they hadn’t noticed that his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) have also vanished from the establishment. Or looked outside and seen that it is a beautiful day in Chicago, with temperatures in the upper 70’s. In fact, the only person the slightest bit suspicious about the whole thing is Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones). In fact, he’s determined to catch Ferris in the act of bunking school and keep him behind another year, if it’s the last thing he does. “I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind.”
We get a brilliant breakdown of the fourth wall, with Ferris leaning in confidentially and sharing private quips with the audience. It’s quite gratifying to feel as if you’re along for the ride, one of his closest friends that he’ll let in on his biggest secrets, especially since everyone in Chicago is dying to build a relationship with the guy. Everybody likes him. Except, of course, his sister Jeanie (played by Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey, pre-nose job), who cares a little bit too much about his life to get one of her own. It’ll take a confrontation with the ‘King of Winning’ (pre his ‘wining’, or let’s face it ‘losing’ days) himself, Charlie Sheen, to knock some sense into her…
Writer/Director John Hughes, who presented us with this beautifully gift-wrapped cinematic treasure back in 1986, was the ultimate teen flick director; Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club… In fact, it’s shocking to discover that Molly Ringwald isn’t lurking somewhere amongst the student body of Ferris’ school. Nevertheless, he has an uncanny knack for creating a person and a story that everyone can relate to. Or, in my case, fall in love with. Ferris Bueller has pretty much become the guy I rate all others against when deciding to say yes or no to a date.
So why is Ferris so awesome? I can give you five reasons:
1) He’s “devastatingly handsome”
2) He always has a plan
3) He’s a brilliant mover n shaker
4) He’s a big culture vulture
5) He’s the personification of good luck
Add that to the barbed wit, athletic abilities and excellent music taste and you have someone who adds up to the perfect ten. And he’s not selfish in his actions either; he could’ve left Sloane to rot in history class while he and Cameron lived the high life in the city, but that would have been wrong. That teacher was a complete zombie. utterly charmless, utterly devoid of life. She probably learns a lot more by stepping out with Ferris, the ‘King of Life Lessons’.
He inspires us all to grab life by the balls and do something a little greater with ourselves. Sure, we might not jump on a parade float and perform a great medley of Danke Schön and Twist & Shout. We might not all get our hands on a priceless 1961 Ferrari 250GT California, of which less than a hundred were made, and take it out for a cruise around town. We might not pretend to be the sausage king of Chicago, catch the Cub’s home run ball at Wrigley Field, hit a Jacuzzi and check out some priceless art, all whilst maintaining the ruse that we’re at home, truly sick, in bed. But this movie will make you want to look outside, check out the sunshine and decide that, yes, today you are taking the day off.
“Yup, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while, you might miss it”
This is not just a movie. It’s a way of life.
By Kayleigh Dray