“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” Not only is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off filled with plenty of insightful messages about life in itself and frankly, how to live a much better one, it is easily John Hughes’ magnum opus (although, The Breakfast Club is a close second for me) and a hilarious comedy filled with wonderful performances. It follows high school senior, Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) who decides to skip school by faking sick and his parents easily buy into it. Right from the start, the movie breaks the 4th wall and Ferris talks directly to the audience and in my opinion, it is one of the best uses of 4th wall breaking in movies. It allows the audience to get right into the head of Ferris without it feeling forced and allows Ferris to constantly make small facial gestures at the camera throughout the movie in reaction to the things happening around him.
He manages to convince his depressed friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) to join him and take a spin with Cameron’s father’s Ferrari. They also do some nice trickery to get Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) out of school to join them. They go out into the city of Chicago in which is John Hughes’ love letter to the wonderful city as we see great beautiful shots of it all. Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) is the principal of the school and doesn’t trust Ferris in anyway, he wants to catch him and prove that he isn’t the guy everyone thinks he is. Everyone loves Ferris. He breaks the clichés of high school and is the guy that everyone just adores. Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) is Ferris’ sister and also wants to prove he is faking sick and how he is always managing to skip out on school.
So, throughout the film, three plot lines are going on. Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane’s event filled day in Chicago from lip-synching to “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles or going to a Cubs game. Mr. Rooney trying to catch Ferris. And Jeanie trying to catch Ferris as well. These three plot lines all mesh together perfectly and let the film flow so well, allowing for what is in my opinion, a perfect film. Whether Ferris is saying something extremely insightful or extremely hilarious, Broderick does an amazing job with his performance. It’s truly difficult for me to find a single real flaw in this movie. This has been my 2nd viewing of this film as I write this review and it really has quite possibly jumped into my top 10 films of all time.
It seems to portray the aspects of high school so well without most of the film even taking place inside of a high school. The pointlessness of much of what you are learning. The boring teachers, the childishness coming from most of the people there (which is summed up fairly well by a single line), amongst other things. If anything, John Hughes gets it. He gets teenagers. Sure, most of his films are truly a more fantasy-esque thing as most of what happens in his films would never happen in real life, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has such an understanding. He never belittles teenagers, he treats them like real human beings and it shows in all of his films. Ferris Bueller being the best in my opinion. If anything, thank you John Hughes for just getting it. Everyone should live a more Ferris Bueller life…and well, that’s about it.