I missed 52 days of school my senior year so I knew immediately where Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was coming from. In fact, if I could have pulled a chick like Mia Sara in high school this film would have been about me. This is John Hughes’ best teen film, and it’s a call to arms to everyone in the world, who doesn’t want to follow the world’s lame ass rules at the expense of living a cool life. Mathew Broderick is Ferris Bueller and he knows how the world works. He knows how far to push his parents ignorance, he knows how to get his girlfriend excused from school, and he knows if he doesn’t give his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) a day in the sun, he’ll probably burst out into the sort of teen violence best kept closeted over in Heathers.
Of course this wouldn’t be an 80s teen movie if there wasn’t an expensive car to parade around town in and to destroy in the fatal final moments. Usually the car of choice was a simple Porsche, but these are especially well to do kids so we get a 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. No one can say Ferris and his crew don’t know how to fill up a day of skipped school. I would usually sleep until four in the afternoon and call my friends up to see what I had missed during school. Ferris has an expensive lunch, leads a parade in a chorus of Twist and Shout and Danke Schein, attends a Cub’s game at Wrigley Field, goes swimming, and narrowly avert a disastrous discovery by his angered Principal and well meaning hoodwinked parents. Meanwhile the legend grows and Ferris becomes an inspiration to more people than a roomful of Tony Robbins’.
Jennifer Grey plays his unamused, rule following sister, Jeannie. She won’t bust Ferris personally, but she’s been rooting for his comeuppance for years. Why is it that people who don’t have the courage or the know how to play the game get so damn ornery? No one really cares if Ferris misses school, but if they didn’t get away with this nonsense they see no reason why he should have all the fun, and yet, who would have ever thought a drugged out Charlie Sheen would be the one to break the news to her. The world found Nixon buddy Ben Stein so entertaining here that they gave him a game show, and some Visine commercials. They tried to re-work this magic on television, but despite Jennifer Aniston in the Grey role, it paled next to it’s superior Fox copy Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”