Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1986
Directed by
John Hughes
103 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

At least on the surface Ferris Bueller, the principal protagonist of writer/director John Hughes' classic1980s teen comedy is depicted as a Teflon hero but in hindsight with his whatever-it-takes avidity for an All-American top-of-the-world lifestyle he looks like very much like a younger version of Gordon Gekko’s dupe, Bud Fox, in Wall Street which was released the following year  (Charlie Sheen who played Fox appears here briefly as a punk in the police station).

Matthew Broderick in his most iconic role plays Ferris ,a too-cool-for-school teenager who takes the day off (the opening scene in which Ferris fakes an illness for the benefit of his parents is beautifully staged by Hughes) to show his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck) and girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) how to really live. To do so he must elude the pursuit of Mr Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) the school principal who is determined to nail his No.1 enemy for good.  His endlessly thwarting provides a goodly portion of the film’s fun in a  merciless series of gags at his expense
The bulk of the film is given over to the threesome’s liberating escapades which involve such things as  “borrowing” Cameron’s Dad’s Ferrari (leading to one of the best gags of the film in which Richard Edson's garage attendant takes it for a joyride), a visit to a swank restaurant, Chicago's Sears Tower and its Chicago Museum of Art, and attending a German-American Day parade with Ferris leaping onto a float and belting out " Danke Schoen” and “Twist and Shout” as he tries to instill in Cameron, who is effectively crippled by his father’s lack of affection for him, a taste for adventure. While the film pretends to have achieved this with Cameron damaging then unintentionally destroying the much-better loved Ferrari, whether this has any credibility as technique of self-assertion is highly debatable. In fact, one would imagine quite the reverse. 

It’s a glib resolution to what is essentially a glib film (Ferris must be some kind of genius with electronics to pull off his ruses) but its target audience was hardly disposed to care about such things and the film became a huge success with Ferris becoming the role model for a generation of teens. 




Want something different?

random vintage best worst