Lauren Walsh, Print Arts and Lit Editor, discusses her love for the classic coming-of-age, and its importance when remembering to have fun once in a while.
Taking place over the course of a single day, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a 1980s classic directed by the master of teen drama John Hughes (famous for other 80s teen classics such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink). The film follows expert slacker Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) as he skives off school for a day to explore Chicago with his neurotic friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara). Fourth wall breaks occur regularly to show how he orchestrates his schemes, and to comment on the ensuing wacky hijinks around Chicago — including but not limited to ‘borrowing’ Cameron’s dad’s classic Ferrari and even a fun dance sequence as Ferris takes over a parade float.
However not everyone is happy with Ferris getting away with his shenanigans: his sister Jeanie (Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey) and Mr Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), the school’s cartoonishly malevolent yet incredibly incompetent dean of students, both vow to catch Ferris and make him face the consequences of his actions.
This feel-good, funny film remains relatable nearly 40 years later as it demonstrates the monotony of school and shows that the outside world will always be more intriguing, more interesting and more exciting than the classroom. The characters in this film also challenge the stereotypical stock characters so often found in teen movies (just look at The Breakfast Club’s princess, jock, nerd, criminal and basket case lineup): Ferris is popular and rebellious, yet suave, and not a jock or bully; Cameron has struggles with his father, even Charlie Sheen as a young drug addict gives profound advice that is in striking contrast to his bad-boy, leather-jacketed exterior. These three-dimensional characters, combined with Hughes’ use of witty dialogue and a fantastic 80s soundtrack, make Ferris one of the most iconic films of its genre.
This feel good, funny film remains relatable nearly 40 years later as it demonstrates the monotony of school and shows that the outside world will always be more intriguing, more interesting and more exciting than the classroom.
This movie is perfect for the back-to-school season as it shows us that there is more to life than school and academic achievement, and emphasises the importance of taking a break and having fun once in a while. To quote Ferris on his titular day off:
“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”