Must admit, I tried watching this a few weeks back.
And it didn’t seem to have aged well.
But I gave it another shot.
This time I made it all the way through.
Because it is, generally, an enjoyable movie.
It was a staple of my youth.
It spoke to me in my niche.
But now certain parts of it seem too sweet.
The kitsch of watching now.
This film has fared less well than some of its rivals.
But let’s talk about the damn thing, shall we?
It’s a John Hughes picture. He’s the director.
I’ve previously written about him in regards to the finely-aged Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Hughes when he directed our film? 36
Hughes when he directed PT&A? 37
It’s only a year, but it’s a year of prime, working experience.
How about Matthew Broderick? 24
To go from directing a 24-year-old star to directing two stars who were 42 and 27 respectively (Steve Martin and John Candy) is quite a jump.
Plus, Candy looked older than 27… And Broderick was intended to look younger than 24.
So we can say that the two films were meant for different audiences.
Ferris Bueller was sort of a Rebel Without a Cause for my generation (Generation X).
There are ingenious, Rube Goldberg contraptions employed in Ferris’ skipping school.
I enjoyed Broderick much more in WarGames and so I would like to highlight the talents of some other players here.
Alan Ruck really portrayed a wider range of emotions in our film. There’s something touching about the crisis through which he is going.
I know it well. In my own way.
And so in real life, a Ferris Bueller is an indispensable friend.
We can see how quiet personalities need louder ones and vice versa.
Other than the cameo by Charlie Sheen (which is quite good), Mia Sara really carries a large part of the drama. Most of it is, incidentally, in her facial expressions.
Broderick relies on these nonverbal methods as well, but Sara’s reactions progress the drama in a unique way.
By 1986 (in the midst of the MTV onslaught) most kids had no idea who The Beatles were. Broderick’s lip-syncing rendition of “Twist and Shout” (Beatles’ version) was also, I imagine, a moment for many young people in the 80s.
I should also mention that Jennifer Grey’s mood improves considerably after she makes out with Charlie Sheen. Her contribution is indeed special!
-Edie McClurg (who’s also in Trains, Planes and Automobiles…gobble gobble)
-Ben Stein (who gets to deliver the timeless, “Bueller…Bueller…Bueller…Bueller”)
In all, this is a pretty indispensable film.
We all want to break free and do something crazy. And fun.
That’s the spirit of youth which this film conveys pretty well.
It’s a very unique bit of cinema from a very formulaic time.
If you can make it past the first part with Broderick baby-talking to his parents, then you’re home-free 🙂