A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
1983, 1985 and 1986; “Risky Business , “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Three triumphant classics that defined the teen genre in cinema. A broad and subjective theme to explore, the teenage film often includes rebellion, angst and the coming-of-age. Whatever genre the films fall under, these three elements usually feature quite heavily; “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is a quintessential example of a definitive 80’s teen classic focusing of the three aforementioned themes extensively.
Written and directed by John Hughes, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is for some, the greatest teen comedy ever made. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) is a popular, loud and confident youth who is loved by his friends and family. The sanguine, naive youth is determined to take a day off school, and the film follows his extravagant escapades in achieving this. Being pursued by the angered and suspecting Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), Ferris manages to consistently outsmart and out wit his frustrated and obsessive high school principal.
Beginning with Ferris exhibiting his technological talents to lower his absence record on the school computer from home, the audience quickly understand that Ferris is a gifted anarchist. He is a cinematic symbolic figure that sums up everything about the average teenager. A cheeky and presumptuous wise guy, Ferris doesn’t understand limits. He says it himself, “You can never go too far”.
His best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and beautiful girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) are dragged into the adventures of the cunning rebel. The trio’s day off is filled with visits to an exclusive restaurant, the museum, a baseball game, the tallest skyscraper in town and a street parade amongst other places. After convincing Cameron otherwise, the gang travel around in Cameron’s father’s priceless Ferrari, a car that is valued more than Cameron by his father. There is enough tension surrounding that car alone throughout this film as it is…
Tension is an element that “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is able to express superbly. Although this is a film that we have all seen countless times, upon re-viewing, each time, the tense and supenceful moments are equally effective. The music, the relatable situations and the ways in which it is edited together generate some truly gripping moments in the film. The conclusion is a narrow and down-to-the-wire mix of franticness and determination that ends it all splendidly. Does Ferris get caught? Does he make it home in time? The drama is electrifying!
“Day Off” is not an out-and-out comedy. It has it’s serious moments too; these are mostly expressed through the character of Cameron. His backstory and family life are explored through emotional monologues and analytical speeches from Ferris whenever he breaks the fourth wall, talking directly to the audience. Having said that, Cameron does have some exceptionally humorous moments in the film, extending the peculiarity and uniqueness of Bueller’s right hand man.
Ferris himself is very likeable through his wit, confidence and charm, yet at the same time, he isn’t likeable at all. He is deceitful, manipulative, rude and impatient all throughout the film, but manages to mask the severity of these attributes through his better qualities. Self-obsessed and demanding, Ferris is not the ideal best friend, yet who could resist that delightful Broderick smile…
John Hughes’ 1986 classic is a timeless go-to flick for any rainy day, end of semester class, or a fun family night in. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is on from the first frame and is one of the more quotable films of the past 30 years. A stellar soundtrack and narrative progression, mixing excellent character chemistry, tension, drama, comedy and coolness; “Day Off” has it all.
Recommended By Frankie Louise