Summer Catch: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
This month on the blog we are indulging in some fun movies from the past that deserve to be on any good summer movie list. Last week we started off with the ridiculous comedy that is Weekend at Bernie’s, and today we find ourselves looking at another 80’s favorite. Written and directed by John Hughes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off follows a high school student who decides to skip school with his friends once more before graduation. Matthew Broderick takes the lead as Ferris Bueller, and Alan Ruck appears as his best friend, Cameron. The cast also includes Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey, Jeffrey Jones, Lyman Ward, and Cindy Pickett. The film was one of the highest grossing films of 1986, and it has since been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
So, what makes this movie perfect for a summer watch?
An Abundance of Antics
What high school student doesn’t dream of skipping out on school at least once for a fun-filled day? Ferris and his friends end up doing just that, and the amount of antics they find define the film. Ferris and Cameron borrow a Ferrari and devise an elaborate plan to sneak Sloane away from school. They sneak off into the city and enjoy a baseball game. They enjoy some time at an art museum, and they coerce their way into a meal at a fancy restaurant. Ferris even interrupts a parade by lipsyncing on a float to songs such as “Danke Schoen” and “Twist and Shout.”
All along the way Ferris and his friends must avoid detection by his parents and his high school principal, which adds another layer to this teen adventure.
Unique Protagonist & Antagonist
Ferris is an interesting lead character and at times an unusual protagonist. He is clearly a likable guy with almost everyone in school immensely concerned over his purported illness, yet he is breaking the rules to his own gain. He hacks into the computer database to change his absences, and he coerces poor Cameron into more than a few situations. However, Ferris also genuinely cares about Cameron’s wellbeing and intends to enjoy the day and all it presents. Ferris is clever and charming, which stands in stark contrast to the character of Principal Rooney. He is determined to bring Ferris down, yet he is often foolish and completely beaten by the teenager.
Their ongoing cat and mouse game makes the film, and it provides for an interesting conflict along the way.
Fun With A Purpose
Obviously, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a ton of fun with all of the places that Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron visit. It is full of laughs, and there are more than a few running gags throughout the movie. However, underneath all the fun and ridiculous moments is a story about a few teenagers trying to soak in some good moments before life changes. College is on the horizon for them, and Ferris acknowledges that it’s essentially the end of an era. Ferris relishes his day off, but at the end of the day, he genuinely is hoping to change Cameron for the better.
The whole film is wrapped up with a comment from Ferris about life moving fast, and if you don’t stop every once in a while, you can miss it. This might be a hilarious movie encroaching on ridiculous at times, but Ferris is right about that.
So, is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off a favorite of yours? What else would you add to your summer watch list?
Comment, and let us know! And stay tuned next week for another fun movie to catch during this final bit of summer.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.