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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off [1986)

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.

Notice something…

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!

Honorable mentions:

-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 🙂

 

-PD

 

6 responses to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off [1986)

  1. One of my favorite film. I saw that at the theater when it came out. I was a year older than Broderick. I have to see it again. Great review.

    • When I was a kid I loved this movie so much. I guess it’s harder for me to relate to it now. It’s still good, but it’s different (I guess because I’m older). It is a funny story 🙂 Thank you my friend! –Paul

  2. Paul S ⋅

    I’m always worried about revisiting my favourite eighties films, because sometimes you had to be there to appreciate what they meant to people who were a certain age back then. For me, this movie only exists so that I can forgive Matthew Broderick for Godzilla.

    • Haha 🙂 yeah, I hear ya! Broderick is charming in this one. I guess it can be hard to recapture that in big-budget remakes which exist strictly to rake in dough. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! –Paul

  3. Great line: “We all want to break free and do something crazy.”

    That’s hilarious: “Jennifer Grey’s mood improves considerably after she makes out with Charlie Sheen.”

    I don’t think she would kiss him in 2016.

    Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen have one thing in common: They both talk a lot about “Winning!”

    • Haha 🙂 yeah, I guess I like those crazy types like Sheen and Trump. But Charlie indeed got a whole new reputation later in life. He kinda became the black sheep. Thanks for your comment, my friend! –Paul

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