When a sunny day is too much to resist, Ferris Bueller decides to take the most epic faux sick day of all time. Soon he’s running all over downtown Chicago with his best friend, Cameron, and girlfriend, Sloane, for an all-day adventure. Will he be able to outwit his parents, his cranky sister, and an angry principal? Only if luck remains on his side…
I still remember the ear-to-ear grin I had the first time I saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The film was chock full of non-stop joy, combined with the unique premise of the main character breaking the “fourth wall.” Something of that sort hadn’t really been done before and audiences were very entertained. But it brought another unique twist – the teen flick was also a critical darling. Chicago Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper called it, “One of my favorite movies of all time. It has one of the highest ‘repeatability’ factors of any film I’ve ever seen…I can watch it again and again.”
Yet, despite the high praise, I was still nervous to revisit the classic. What if it didn’t hold up? Needless to say, I shouldn’t have fretted about it. The film, written and directed by the beloved (and much missed) John Hughes is every bit as engaging as it was in the Eighties.
Ah, youth! I’m so glad fringe is back, by the way.
Part of the appeal is in the pitch-perfect casting. Only Matthew Broderick, the former unlikely teen heartthrob, could play the whip-smart Ferris Bueller as snarky without being annoying, and Alan Ruck, who plays Ferris’s best friend, Cameron, nails it as the depressed teen with the weight of the world on his shoulders – and the perfect foil for the exuberant Bueller. (The shockingly ageless Ruck was 29-years old when he played this role. I would love to go swimming in that gene pool!) The gorgeous Mia Sara (get a last name) rounds out the headlining trio as Bueller’s mellow girlfriend, Sloane. She also shines – and that is no small feat, given the hideous shorts she’s forced to wear the entire film. Is it a skirt or is it shorts? A skort? Is that huge bulge a penis or is there really that much extra fabric on those babies? Sure, not every pair of shorts needs to emulate the labia huggers that pass for clothing these days – but a few extra inches off the bottom never hurt anyone. The supporting players also are amazing, including Jennifer Grey as Jeanie, Ferris’s grouchy sis, Edie McClurg as the bee-hived clueless secretary, and Jeffrey Jones as the vindictive principal. Not to mention a prophetic cameo by Charlie Sheen as a drug addict awaiting his cell in a police station. Was someone psychic?
The hair is one thing. But don’t even get me started on the fuzzy dice and the red hat on the lampshade. Girl, we need to have a serious talk about decor!
Speaking of psychics – I predict I’ll see you at the Mission Theater on Wednesday, April 16th if you live in Portland, OR! Click here to find out why.
Clothing aside (including a distractingly awful beret), this movie remains a timeless ode to living in the moment.
Take a Drink: every time Ferris fakes a cough symptom.
Take a Drink: every time Ferris talks to the camera.
Take a Drink: every time you want to hug Cameron.
Take a Drink: every time you glance at Sloane’s shorts and think, “Penis or fabric?”
Take a Drink: for every iconic shot of Chicago. John Hughes said it was his love letter to the city, so it’s the least we can do!
Do a Shot: for the Kristy Swanson, Ben Stein, Richard Edson (Sonic Youth’s original drummer!), and Charlie Sheen cameos.
It’s an absolute must to watch the credits all the way to the end on this one!