Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) Movie Review

Friday, June 17, 2016

Movie Review Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Ferris Beuller (Matthew Broderick) was the kid in High School who never got caught, had fun doing whatever it was and was popular with everybody. On this particular day in the movie, Ferris decides he is taking the day off. After all, "How can anyone be expected to handle school on a day like this?" Ferris calls his best friend, Cameron Frye (a young Alan Ruck), who is always sick, and tells him to pick him up. After all, Ferris does not have a car. He wants to show Cameron a good time before High School is all over and wants him to have something good to remember about it. Also, Cameron is Ferris's phony caller voice. Whenever Ferris needs a call made, such as from a police officer or another parent, Cameron is the man.

Eventually, Ferris and Cameron gets Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) excused, by using the dead grandmother excuse. Ferris is always one step ahead of his adversary, Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones). Rooney is portrayed as a hard ass principal who does not let anything get by him. He sets off to catch Beuller in the act and put a permanent mark in his record and hold him back another year, so as not to have other Ferris Beuller wannabes for years after Ferris's departure. Jones was perfect for his role as Rooney and I do not think that role will ever be surpassed for him.

Most of the movie is spent with Rooney looking for Ferris and, as mentioned earlier, is about one or two steps behind him. He comes very close to catching him but never gets the job done. Rooney is the stooge in the movie that every teen and even the adults enjoy seeing him beaten and outsmarted by his young student. I don't think anyone has expected otherwise.

All throughout the movie, it pokes fun at the boring and tedious high school classroom. Ferris will say something like, "If we played by the rules right now, we'd be in gym class" and then it cuts to an exaggerated look at a gym class, which more resembles a boot camp. Ben Stein will forever be remembered here as the extremely boring economics teacher.

There are many more characters to this movie that make it great. There is Grace (Rooney's secretary), Jeanie and the rest of Ferris's family, the parking garage guys, the snooty waiter, Charlie Sheen and others. My friends and I still quote randomly from the movie in our everyday situations. That is how much of an impact this movie has made on many lives.

There are so many great parts and quotes from this movie, they are too numerous to list in a review, nor would I want to ruin it for anybody who has not seen it, although I can not fathom why you haven't. If not, it is a must see.

John Hughes does a tremendous job of portraying school as an oppressive prison in which children are forced into the most unnatural setting to memorize useless facts to "get their grade." _The Breakfast Club_ is another example of this, but FBDO does it tremendously well. The setting portrayed at the school of the bored students listening to a nasal monotone lecture, while intended to be a caricature of the nature of classroom lessons and children's reactions, was pretty much on target.

Ferris Bueller takes the day off and what does he do? Certainly not what Rooney assumed smart teenagers will do. He didn't use this time to damage some bedsprings with his girlfriend, or play video games. No, he viewed fabulous pieces of art, ate at a very classy restaurant, participated in a parade, and taught his friends a few lessons in some interesting ways.

As a believer in education as an organic experience, this movie is a real eye opener to anyone wishing to educate their children outside of the public school venue. It's funny, and shows just how worthy time "living your life before it passes by" can be.

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