Pros:Entertaining movie with likable main character and good cast.
Cons:Might be too silly for some.
The Bottom Line: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a fun, entertaining teen movie that has stood up well over the years.
John Hughes became known in the 1980's for making movies focused on teenagers like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Many of the movies he made are now considered classics. I recently watched another of his movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
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Ferris Bueller was very popular in high school and facing graduation in a few months. He decided to pretend to be sick to skip school one day. His best friend Cameron, who was a hypochondriac, was also home from school that day as well and Ferris decided that they needed to explore the city together. Ferris also came up with a plan to get his girlfriend Sloan out of school. The three of them had a busy day while Mr. Rooney, the principal, and Ferris’s sister Jeanie were trying to prove that Ferris was faking his illness.
The plot for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was fairly simple. There were a few small subplots that popped up a few times that worked well with the main plot. The subplots were connected to Mr. Rooney and Jeanie trying to prove that Ferris was pretending to be sick and how both of them really didn’t like Ferris. There really weren’t any surprises with what happened throughout the movie. Certain things were a bit predictable, but the movie was still very entertaining and worth watching. Really good music was used throughout the movie in ways that fit in with what was happening.
I thought there was a decent amount of humor in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The movie didn’t resort to using a lot of gross out type of humor like many of the newer teen comedies seem to do. Gross humor gets old quickly for me, so it is also nice when I find a movie that doesn’t resort to it. There was a little bit of slapstick type of humor connected to things that happened to Mr. Rooney while he was trying to prove that Ferris wasn’t really sick. Just the way Mr. Rooney reacted to certain things was funny. There was a bit of silliness in a few scenes, but it worked well for the movie. A few scenes did have a more serious tone, but the movie was funny overall.
Many kids thinking about skipping school and many actually do it. Most of the ones that do skip school don’t tend to do the things that Ferris and his friends did, so some of those aspects of the movie weren’t as believable. Even the students considered the good kids probably at least think about skipping school at some point. I think that was probably part of the appeal of the movie and why it is now considered a classic. Since Ferris and Cameron never went to school that day, very little of the movie took place at the school. Sloan was briefly shown there before she got out. Jeanie was also shown there a few times, usually highly annoyed that Ferris had gotten out of going to school.
Ferris and Sloan had been involved for a while before the movie began. They did kiss a few times, but that was all that was shown. It wasn’t really said if they had started having sex either. They did seem to be very committed to each other. There was a scene involving a pool and hot tub that had Cameron, Ferris, and Sloan showing off a bit of skin without any of them actually getting naked. Jeanie ended up making out with someone she just met at one point. That was it for any kind of sexual content. Parents may not want younger children to see the movie. All of the characters used profanity, and the word that rhymes with luck turned up once as well. Mr. Rooney also made an obscene gesture at one point. Those things caused the movie to be rated PG-13, so it really isn’t intended for young children.
The entire movie revolved around Ferris and the elaborate measures he went through to skip school. It wasn’t the first time he had skipped school, and he had things that helped him pull off being sick. Every so often throughout the movie, Ferris would speak directly to the camera, explaining something. Instead of being distracting, that worked for the movie. Matthew Broderick was wonderful in the part that he is probably most known for. Jeanie was Ferris’s sister. I’m still not sure who was supposed to be older since Ferris was a senior but Jeanie was the one who had a car. She was very grumpy through most of the movie and seemed to be obsessed with getting her brother in trouble. Jennifer Grey was good in the part. Their parents were only shown a few times, so they didn’t have that much to do.
Cameron and Ferris had been friends since grade school. Cameron had a lot of issues, most of which were connected to the fact that he had a bad relationship with his father. Cameron had to be convinced to do things throughout the movie. He was a worrier, and once or twice it seemed to be very justified. Alan Ruck was good in the part. Sloan was Ferris’s girlfriend. There really wasn’t as much shared about her other than that she was serious about Ferris. Mia Sara was fine in the part.
Ed Rooney was the principal convinced that Ferris was pretending to be sick. Ed didn’t like Ferris or the fact that it seemed like basically everyone liked him. Rooney was a bit obsessed with catching Ferris, which caused him to do some questionable things. Jeffrey Jones was great in the part. Edie McClurg turned up in a few scenes as Rooney’s secretary Grace. Ben Stein was in one scene as a very, very boring teacher. Charlie Sheen shared a few scenes with Jeanie, but his character didn’t even have a name. He was just the boy at the police station.
Matthew Broderick - Ferris Bueller
Jennifer Grey - Jeanie
Jeffrey Jones - Ed Rooney
Edie McClurg - Grace
Alan Ruck - Cameron
Mia Sara - Sloan
Charlie Sheen - Boy at the police station
John Hughes - Director
I have seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off many times over the years when it has turned up on one of the television stations I get. I recently watched it again when I found it on one of the HBO channels I get. I think there are a few DVD versions of the movie out, but I’m not sure what kind of extras are included on them.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a fun, entertaining teen movie that has stood up well. I still find it to be an entertaining movie that is worth watching. Fans of the cast or director Hughes may also like this one.
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