Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) Poster

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Take the "Day Off"...
Mister-66 September 2000
Before all the slapstick, before re-writing "Home Alone" umpteen times and before selling his soul to "Disney Pictures Inc.", John Hughes was believed to be THE scribe for teen angst.

He wrote eloquently of it in "Sixteen Candles", "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink". And with "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", he creates a person and a time in life that just about anyone who's ever been a teenager can relate to.

Who hasn't known someone like Ferris Bueller (Broderick)? Someone who always has a plan, someone who made loafing off an art form, someone who could fall in a barrel of you-know-what and come out smelling like a rose?

All he wants to do is take a day off from school and enjoy the day in Chicago - simple enough, but he must also try and convince his best friend Cameron (Ruck) and his best girl (Sara) to join him and, in the process, learn to enjoy what life has to offer.

Naturally, there is a tyrannical school dean (Jones) who is determined to catch Ferris in the act of hookey and Ferris' own sister (Grey, pre-nose job) who has it in for her brother, the "trouser-snake".

There are funny situations throughout the movie, and the characters are ones that grow on you, especially Ruck's worry-wart portrayal of Cameron Frye, constantly fretting about his dystalic, cursing his father and nearly drowning in a pool, all in the name of friendship.

Sara has less to do, but she plays the object of desire well, and Ferris' passion for her is understandable. At least he thinks about the right things, like what their lives would be like after high school.

All the way from beginning to end, this movie is a great trip in search of fun, relaxation, not taking life too seriously and how to sing Wayne Newton songs in the middle of a parade.

You want to catch vintage John Hughes and classic '80s teendom at its best? Seize this "Day"!

Ten stars for "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".
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Not just one of the best comedies of all time, but one of the best movies PERIOD
Kristine5 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
My friends knowing that I'm a huge film buff asked me to come up with a list of my favorite movies of all time, when it came down to number one, there was one film that stood out in my head that I knew I could watch over and over again and never get sick of: Ferris Bueller's Day Off. One of the best comedies of all time, Ferris Bueller is a movie that just stands the test of time. How anyone could not love this film is beyond any of my understanding, Ferris Bueller is my hero among many others. John Hughes is usually remembered more for The Breakfast Club, which is an incredible movie as well, but I think this was his masterpiece. He said in an interview that this was his childhood, getting his wife and best friend and skipping out on school to go down town and just have a good time. If you are a Chicago citizen, you've pulled a Ferris Beuller's day off too, it's like a law here, lol, if you haven't, I pity you. The reason that this movie works is because of it's outrageous story that everyone wants to live, Matthew Broderick, there was no other choice, he is who everyone wants to be: Ferris Bueller.

Ferris Bueller is a teenager who fakes out his parents on being sick, even though it is his worst performance of being ill, somehow it works and his parents let him stay home. He takes the gorgeous day outside, takes his really sick best friend and his girlfriend and goes into beautiful Chicago for a blast of good times. I'm not kidding fellow Chicagoians, this is the best Chicago movie! Ferris has two problems though, his principal who is sick of being made a fool of and decides to bust Ferris on his fake illness. And his sister Jeanie, who cares more about Ferris's life than her own and just wants to prove that he's faking it.

Even though, you have to admit that it's a bit unrealistic that it is broadcast throughout Chicago that Ferris is "dying" and no one notices that he's singing in the Chicago parade, on a field trip to the Art Institute with an elementary class, getting "snootie" with a waiter at Chicago's finest restaurant, and catching the Cub's home run ball at Wrigley Field, you just have fun and cannot stop laughing. Plus you have got to love Edward Rooney, the obsessed principal who is actually sicker than Ferris in one way of putting it. He goes through the whole city to find him just so Ferris doesn't make a fool of him, but he fails on all levels because Ferris is just that awesome. The scene between him and Grace when Cameron prank calls to get Ferris' girlfriend out of school is just too hilarious and will have you in stitches. I don't know what else to honestly say other than this movie is the best comedy to watch if you are looking for a great laugh. So sit, back and enjoy because "…life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and take a look around once in a while, you might miss it"; my philosophy. I will love Ferris Bueller till the day I die.

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Not just a classic of the 80s, but of any decade
Agent109 April 2003
Matthew Broderick looked so brilliant in those days. While this film single handedly made him Ferris Bueller forever, at least this is a film that can be seen all throughout the years without dating too badly. Sure, the music and props will signify a time of discontent and bad hairdos, but the idealistic look of a man simply wanting to ditch school has never been made more daringly and charmingly.

Everything about this film was gold, from the postmodern "conversations" with the audience to the little back stories which seem to shape the overall canvas of the film. While Alan Ruck was way too old to play in this movie, at least he proved to be a great opposite to the cool and nonchalant Ferris. Gross-out comedies may now be the norm, at least we can look back to this film and enjoy a good, genuine laugh.
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Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Coxer996 April 1999
Broderick banked off that boyish charm that made him so popular on the Broadway stage (Brighton Beach Memoirs) and brought it to this witty laugh ride about a high schooler who one day, just didn't want to go to school and puts himself and his friends in constant mayhem and jeopardy. Broderick is perfect, but it is Jeffrey Jones who gives a searing comic potryal of Ed Rooney, a Mr. Weatherbee-like principal wanting to catch Ferris in only act of treachery; holding him back for one more year of high school. John Hughes is at his best here. The dialogue for this film has received such a following that it has even been printed on shirts and recited at parties by true fans of the film. I don't blame them. It's a classic!
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When teen movies were funny, not just stupid
gemtex5 September 2003
I have an ongoing discussion with my friends and family about what movie defines your generation, and for me, this is it! Ferris' commentary throughout the movie is hilarious and irreverent, giving a voice to those on the borderline between Generations X and Y. It's Office Space, the teenage years! This movie is witty and fast-paced, not relying on the bathroom humor and physical comedy that most teenage and college comedies do these days. Yes it is dated, but that's part of what makes it great. I love it!
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Smart A*s v. The Establishment -- Ferris Bueller Rules!
mdm-1111 September 2005
Ferris Bueller was either loved or hated by his peers for always getting away with anything he'd do. Some would want him expelled, others want him for Class President. On this extremely eventful day, the audience is invited to follow Ferris, his best pal and his girlfriend from morning to afternoon (when they all should have been in school), enjoying a holiday declared by the resourceful Ferris Bueller.

They get to speed on the freeway in a Ferrari, sing "Danke Schoen" on an Octoberfest Float, eat at the most exclusive restaurant in town and always keep just one step ahead of a furious principal in hot pursuit. With fake computer grade and attendance records, Ferris has it made.

The scene where the principal hitches a ride on a school bus after having been "torn up" by Doberman watch dogs is worth the ticket price (Oh Yeah!). This is one of the funniest "high school prankster movies" ever! Has it been 20 years already? This is a definite Cult Classic! Right up there with Animal House and Caddy Shack.
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My Favorite Movie Of All Time!
AbeFroman-318 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I think it is only fitting that I dedicate my first movie review to my favorite movie, Ferris Beuler's Day Off.

This movie got me through High School.. and much of my adult life as well. That is, until Office Space came along, but that is another review.

Ferris Beuller (Matthew Broderick) was the kid in High School who never got caught, had fun doing whatever it was and was popular with everybody. On this particular day in the movie, Ferris decides he is taking the day off. After all, "How can anyone be expected to handle school on a day like this?" Ferris calls his best friend, Cameron Frye (a young Alan Ruck), who is always sick, and tells him to pick him up. After all, Ferris does not have a car. He wants to show Cameron a good time before High School is all over and wants him to have something good to remember about it. Also, Cameron is Ferris's phony caller voice. Whenever Ferris needs a call made, such as from a police officer or another parent, Cameron is the man.

Eventually, Ferris and Cameron gets Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) excused, by using the dead grandmother excuse. Ferris is always one step ahead of his adversary, Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones). Rooney is portrayed as a hard ass principal who does not let anything get by him. He sets off to catch Beuller in the act and put a permanent mark in his record and hold him back another year, so as not to have other Ferris Beuller wannabes for years after Ferris's departure. Jones was perfect for his role as Rooney and I do not think that role will ever be surpassed for him.

Most of the movie is spent with Rooney looking for Ferris and, as mentioned earlier, is about one or two steps behind him. He comes very close to catching him but never gets the job done. Rooney is the stooge in the movie that every teen and even the adults enjoy seeing him beaten and outsmarted by his young student. I don't think anyone has expected otherwise.

All throughout the movie, it pokes fun at the boring and tedious high school classroom. Ferris will say something like, "If we played by the rules right now, we'd be in gym class" and then it cuts to an exaggerated look at a gym class, which more resembles a boot camp. Ben Stein will forever be remembered here as the extremely boring economics teacher.

There are many more characters to this movie that make it great. There is Grace (Rooney's secretary), Jeanie and the rest of Ferris's family, the parking garage guys, the snooty waiter, Charlie Sheen and others. My friends and I still quote randomly from the movie in our everyday situations. That is how much of an impact this movie has made on many lives.

There are so many great parts and quotes from this movie, they are too numerous to list in a review, nor would I want to ruin it for anybody who has not seen it, although I can not fathom why you haven't. If not, it is a must see.
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I can see why people just love this movie.
holeinthahead28 October 2000
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is the funniest 80's movie EVER! I can list some reasons why I liked this movie so much.

1. Matthew Broderick brings such joy to us playing Ferries Bueller, a character no one would hate. Ferris NEVER gets caught, is an expert at fooling his parents, everybody likes him, and nobody can avoid his favor and all. I want to be just like him!

2. Cameron, a geek friend of Ferris, is someone that portrays everybody's weakness. He is afraid of his parents, negative, and also very sensitive of his father's favorite car. This actor who plays Cameron was very, very good.

3. The principal who tries to prove that Ferris is not innocent and also kind of jealous of Ferris, is the most hilarious character in this movie. He sorta reminds me of my principal at High School.

4. Jennifer Grey plays Ferris's annoyed sister. She was great, and her bad attitude was somewhat hilarious.

5. Charlie Sheen's cameo of a guy in police station was absolutely funny.

6. This is John Hugh's BEST flick ever.

7. Mia Sara was sweet, she played Ferris's pretty girlfriend.

8. The most memorable scene was "Twist and Shout" scene, where all people dance in this song with Ferris lip-synching.

9. Cameron's speechless and hopeless stare was excellent.

10. After watching this movie, I am planning to take a Day-Off of my own!

Overall, I give A+ for being the best teenage movie.
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Ferris Bueller is an asshole.
aryafsharm24 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Being a big fan of high school/coming-of-age movies, I had high expectations from this film. Everyone says it's one of the best coming-of-age comedies out there, and it's maintained that title for nearly 3 decades now. The movie starts off very promising, immediately setting itself apart from a sea of derivative titles in the coming-of-age comedy genre, with its rather original protagonist. Most conventional high school films are about an unpopular kid's rise to popularity despite numerous challenges, popular kids bullying and rejecting them, etc. Ferris Bueller, on the other hand, is already popular. He's handsome. He's got a girlfriend. All the things that the protagonist has at the end of most high school movies, Ferris Bueller starts his day off with. However, I now understand why kids like him are usually the villain, because Ferris Bueller is just an unbelievable asshole.

He fakes sickness to get out of school, something we've all done and can relate to, but then he drags his actually sick friend, Cameron, out of bed using all kinds of manipulation, not because he enjoys hanging out with him, but because he needs a ride. He then pressures Cameron to steal his dad's Ferrari, drives to school with the henceforth stressed-out Cameron to pick up his girlfriend, effectively turning him into the third wheel for the remainder of the day. In fact, they barely talk to the guy from that point. Oh, and he doesn't return the car after all this, instead he drives recklessly for a while, to yet further worried protest from Cameron that goes ignored, then takes it to a garage and hands the keys to a random guy (who also proceeds to drive recklessly with it). He then spends the rest of day doing the weirdest crap. He could drive around in the Ferrari for example, or go do drugs or smoke or drink like normal kids do when they skip school, or maybe use his popularity and his confidence to get Cameron a girl as well, but instead he uses his day off to dine at a fancy restaurant and go to a museum. What high school kid ditches school to go to museum? Oh, and apparently he is so popular, that he can use his citywide influence to be the star of a whole parade.

I'm all for the anti-hero approach to the otherwise over-told high school story, but Ferris Bueller is not a good anti-hero. You can't relate to him and you don't root for him, except only when the school principal develops a strange obsession with exposing Ferris Bueller's whole plan, and only then because the principal is an even bigger asshole.

The story is mostly not so believable, and none of the characters are very layered or developed. From the weirdly adult choice of entertainment, to the variety of strange and hardly believable events that unfold, such as the principal's obsession, or Cameron entering a catatonic state at some point, to the parade scene, the film feels like a collection of random events sparsely unfolding between a lot of silence or uninteresting/unfunny dialog. A big portion of the film is just kinda awkward.

In my opinion, what makes most teenage movies great, is how relatable they are to all of us, and to our own adolescent experiences. As teenagers they helped us get through our own lives and as adults they make us laugh at who we used to be. In my opinion, Ferris Bueller's Day Off fails in this regard. Maybe if I was myself still a teenager, or kind of an asshole, I would appreciate this film more. To its credit it doesn't look like it's a movie that hasn't aged well, though that would at least explain why such a bad movie is so highly spoken of.
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Don't let school get in the way of your education....
clarinets14 May 2003
John Hughes does a tremendous job of portraying school as an oppressive prison in which children are forced into the most unnatural setting to memorize useless facts to "get their grade." _The Breakfast Club_ is another example of this, but FBDO does it tremendously well. The setting portrayed at the school of the bored students listening to a nasal monotone lecture, while intended to be a caricature of the nature of classroom lessons and children's reactions, was pretty much on target.

Ferris Bueller takes the day off and what does he do? Certainly not what Rooney assumed smart teenagers will do. He didn't use this time to damage some bedsprings with his girlfriend, or play video games. No, he viewed fabulous pieces of art, ate at a very classy restaurant, participated in a parade, and taught his friends a few lessons in some interesting ways.

As a believer in education as an organic experience, this movie is a real eye opener to anyone wishing to educate their children outside of the public school venue. It's funny, and shows just how worthy time "living your life before it passes by" can be.

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Overrated, horrible movie.
pinetarrag5 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I hate this movie. Ferris is a whiny spoiled little ass who believes himself worthy of having a day off from school, stealing his best buddy's dad's Ferrari and becoming the grand marshal of a parade. All of this might have been forgiven if Ferris were in the least bit likable , but he's not. He is a bullying, snobbish, jerk who uses his parents, hacks on to a computer , destroys Cameron(his buddy)'s dad Ferrari, and escapes with no punishment. Everybody, save the unfortunate principal and his sister loves Ferris and thinks he's a great guy. Sorry, but if I had to choose a friend I would choose his buddy, the likable and put upon Cameron, rather than the egotistical jackass that is Ferris. It has good music though which is the only reason it rises above a "1" for me.
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It's good, but...
Mc Funk12 August 2013
First off, I want to say that I like this movie. It's a genuinely funny movie. Often you find yourself still laughing at the last joke, when the next Punchline is delivered. I especially took a liking to the socially awkward Cameron who really makes this movie worth while with his constant negative thinking. I love the jealous sister who really wants to be more like Ferris but just does not feel like she could and I adored Charlie Sheen but still..

The movie is filled with situation that are just not really believable. Not considering some obvious but - hopefully - intended illogical situations like Ferris on the parade truck myself wondering whether or not those kids are just plain stupid. (Like sneaking behind Ferris father to catch a cab - they could just take the next one!)

The plot is completely predictable but that's part of the fun and for the most part is really was fun but those ten minutes that weren't just kinda spoiled the mood.
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My smile is a rifle I'm pointing at you
jessegehrig15 August 2014
Even as a child when I saw this movie, I never liked Ferris, I thought the character was a creep and that something was wrong with him. It always baffled me why the character was painted in a heroic light. I understand that people love this movie and I don't want to take that away from anyone, you love the sh*t out of this movie, also I see plainly that I am in the minority, in regards to audience reaction to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Recently, some one has published an article arguing that from a clinical observation, the actions of the character Ferris, would in real life be those of a psychopath.I feel a lot of validation from reading this article ( apologies to the article's author, I didn't bother to learn your name ) because it explains to me the impression of Ferris Bueller I had as a kid. Filling his hours with meaningless deceptions, manipulating everyone he comes in contact with, always seeking to be the desperate center of attention. F*cking monster.
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Genuinely, Ingeniously Funny
First of all let me say that this movie is genuinely, ingeniously funny, the watch-it-twelve-times-and-it-never-gets-old kind of movie. I myself have seen it seven and a half times and will probably view it again before the end of summer. The movie stars then 23-year-old Matthew Broderick as 17-year-old Ferris Bueller, a high school student who would like nothing better than to be done with school. So he gives in to a strong temptation to cut class and go to downtown Chicago with friends Cameron and girlfriend Sloane (who he gets out of school extremely cleverly, and quite hilariously i might add!). It doesn't take long for principal Edward Rooney to catch on to Ferris's skipping, so he tries as hard as he can to catch him, but is going on about it quite unsuccessfully. All through the movie we learn of Cameron's struggles with his parents and life itself, and through all the hilarity of the movie Cameron finds a part of himself that he hadn't been able to find before. The movie consists of several several fun scenes, such as the German American Appreciation Day Parade, in which Ferris climbs onto the Great Float and the parade-goers dance to "Danke Schoen" by Wayne Newton and "TWIST AND SHOUT" of course, by the Beatles. Other very important characters are Jeanie Bueller, his revenge-seeking sister who can't seem to understand why Ferris gets away with everything, and Grace, the absent-minded and honest-to-a-fault secretary. There are so many left out parts and characters but to see them all you'll have to watch the movie (you won't regret it!). "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -ferris bueller I give this movie 2 thumbs up, if only i had more hands i could give it a higher rating....
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Imagine Catcher in the Rye if it was from the POV of a teen yuppie
stevenboyle-037905 June 2015
After liking''Planes, Trains and Automobiles', and having taken into consideration the cult status this film enjoys i was expecting good things. What i got was an irritating little movie where the central conceit leave a bad taste in the mouth. The films message; Take a break from the mundane-take a 'Day off'-escape the banality of everyday life and find adventure. Whats wrong with that you might say? Well privileged little Ferris Bullers life is anything but mundane. He gets to drive around in a ferarri with a supermodel girlfriend in a world where he never has to take responsibility for his own actions, then sits there earnestly telling us about ''life passing him by?'' I wanted to throw things at the screen. Hughes completely misses the point in the same way Ben Stiller did recently with his awful ''Secret Life of Walter Mitty''; these people seeking something more from life already lead perfect lives so its impossible to to relate to them or understand what they have to feel hard done by about. The film is not really a Bildungsroman, it does not really deal with coming of age; its kind of a bastard relative of the baby boomer movies from the 70s but made for the brat pack generation. We are expected to root for a spoiled overachiever who believes the universe revolves around him and, as others have correctly pointed out, seems to demonstrate sociopathic personality traits. That i can't do. Hated it.
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Disappointment and a bore
Yash Vardhan19 May 2014
I found it very strange that a teenage boy would spend his day off at mall and fine dining. It is rather what a middle age man with bad job would do on his day off. But that 's not my biggest complaint is not that. I don't mind if movie lacks logic or realism as long as it is entertaining.

My problem was that movie didn't live up to hype it got. I didn't find the movie as entertaining or funny as everyone on internet said nor I didn't find Ferris as cool or likable as everyone thinks.

First let me talk about the movie. The movie was very dull, boring, slow and uneventful for me. Even the situation that happens are not so entertaining sometime. For example, take museum scene. Sure setting a scene in museum is boring itself.But that is not a big problem. A good director can make a scene set in boring classroom interesting. What makes this scene boring is that characters do nothing. They do not do any mischief, they do not destroy anything, they do not do prank or the fact that do not give any witty remarks on any painting. They just stand and stare the painting. Instead camera shows the paintings. If I had to see the painting, I would use my internet to Google some painting or if I don't have internet, I would simply go to public library and read a book about painting. When fun thing actually happen i.e.; watching baseball game , they don't show much. Only time I laughed was when Ed Rooney was humiliated.

Now let me talk about Ferris Bueller himself. Even if I forget he lies and manipulate people who loves him the most, I still don't like this character. I did not find him cool at all. There is no strong reason why he is the most popular kid in school who is worshiped by everyone. Only special thing about him is his unbelievable luck. I found him boring guy who keeps on explaining why is he cool.
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Raul Faust14 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Well, this movie started off really well, in a fast and entertaining pace. However, after some while, I could guess exactly where this movie was going, and surely knew it wouldn't bring anything new or extraordinary to the genre. Even Charlie Sheen worked in this picture, looking like a vampire from "Twilight"; I could barely recognize him being that young-- I'm more used to his age in "Two and a Half Men" era. Main character is a sharpie guy that fools everybody and, in the end, gets away with murder. His sister, a correct girl that does everything right, ends up being labeled as the bad guy off the story. These scenes are at least useful to remind us that good people always end up being misunderstood. Obviously this film inspired many of modern teen comedies, such as "American Pie", "Not Another Teen Movie", "Road Trip", among others. I confess that I enjoyed 1988's "License to Drive" much more than this one, even thought that movie copied many aspects of this. Also, Marlon Wayans' productions are much better in making you laugh. All in all, it's an interesting movie for the time it was released, but offers nothing different of modern comedies.
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Spoilt brats laugh at the working man
Cheese Hoven7 October 2010
Let me first say that the main story here, involving the kids, contains many iconic scenes.

The problem is the sub-plot about the misadventures of the school's principle (Mr Rooney) which seems to come from a different and inferior film. Its lazy slapstick brings to mind the worst parts of Police Academy or Home Alone.

But the problem is deeper than that. It is philosophical.

For here we have 3 affluent kids who have pampered lifestyles (particularly the insufferable Ferris), and our sympathies are supposed to lie with them. Meanwhile the butt of the joke is someone who actually has to work for a living.

The cruelty with which he is subjected to humiliation while the kids swan around at others' expense is actually quite sickening. It is like seeing aristocrats gorging themselves and then being invited to laugh at their servants.

It is no good saying that he is an authority figure. That would only work if the kids were of a lower standing in society as he is. If they were Chaplinesque hobos who needed to kick a cop up the behind or they were acting out of necessity, you could understand it. But they are entirely selfish.

Ferris Bueller is an impossibly perfect youth, good looking, pampered by his parents, with a beautiful girlfriend and an assortment of gadgets which would have cost his adversary, principle Rooney, a year's wages back in the mid 80s. We are constantly told how popular he is in school. Why? I imagine a real life Bueller would annoy the hell out of most people.

His friend Cameron has access to at least two cars, one of which is a fabulous Ferrari which his father keeps in a large garage overlooking a specular wooded area.

And we are supposed to care that these, and Bueller's girl, go on a joyride? Rather like in the old Road Runner cartoons, which suppose our sympathies should lie with a one-dimensional annoying character rather than the harassed workaholic, I guess many people were hoping that Bueller would get his comeuppance in the end. Alas no such luck.
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Not exactly a movie to be shown at teacher rallies
skad1327 June 2004
I think you have to be or have been a teacher to feel as though John Hughes' movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is like a student scraping his nails across your blackboard for 90 minutes. When this movie was first released, I happened to see it on a week where a student came tardy to my class, cussed me out when I called him on it, and then had his mother phone and tell me that I was overreacting [for doing what was expected of me] and tell me that she was praying for me. By the time I finished watching the movie, Principal Rooney (ployed by Jeffrey Jones), who was intended as a figure of fun, was a very sympathetic character to me.

Anyway, Matthew Broderick plays the title role, an insufferable youngster who appears to have an angel of God at his side. Ferris concocts elaborate schemes for playing hooky from school, yet he manages to endear himself to everyone except Mr. Rooney, who can never quite catch Ferris in the act, and his sister Jennie (Jennifer Grey of "Dirty Dancing"), who is justifiably annoyed at Ferris's liberties.

One fine spring day, Ferris again fools his parents into thinking he is on Death's doorstep. When they leave for work, Ferris browbeats his downtrodden buddy Cameron (Alan Ruck, later of TV's "Spin City") into stealing his father's prized 1961 Ferrari, hijacking Ferris's girlfriend (Mia Sara) from school and going on a joyride.

The angel-of-God analogy is particularly apt because the movie seems a latter-day version of deus-ex-machina. And never has a movie seemed so stagy. When Ferris starts talking to the camera (presaging similarly self-conscious '90s movies and TV shows), expounding his theories on life and skipping school, one half-expects to read "Based on a play by Neil Simon" in the credits.

What a great combination--the self-righteousness of John Hughes and the Broadway smarminess of Matthew Broderick. Two minds without a single thought.

And the film in constantly at odds with what it tries to tell us. At one point, Ferris tells us that you'll never get anywhere by kissing people's hindquarters. Yet he can't get anywhere without sucking up to people or manipulating them for his selfish whims.

He also complains about his parents being weird. The poor kid--all his parents have ever given him are everything he wants, and more attention than his sister can hope to receive.

And how is all of this massive manipulation possible? Because Hughes sets up cardboard characters and emotions. Mr. Rooney is essentially Wile E. Coyote, forever chasing the Road Runner in vain.

Ferris's parents are vapid dummies who don't care much about anything. And Ferris is supposedly made lovable by such acts as his hammy performance to get out of school (an old bit when it was used in "E.T.") and his lip-syncing to a rock song (which, after Tom Cruise in "Risky Business" and Rodney Dangerfield in "Easy Money," was well on its way to become a modern-day movie cliché).

All of the performances are execrable, except for Ruck as Cameron, the put-upon friend. When Cameron vows to take a stand against his dad, the scene almost works, despite its utter gravity, because Cameron has been such a likable dolt up until then. If only we could see a movie about a teenager like *him*, instead of this self-indulgent vehicle about a self-indulgent brat. When John Hughes--a Mel Brooks for high-school geeks--was asked how he prepares his scripts, he said, "I never start with the jokes. I look at an issue and try to find the story in it...To me, 'Animal House' was a character movie." That's funnier than anything in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
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ProjectorViewer1 January 2006
I would have given this a 1 but couldn't watch it all and have to give it some credit for all those who like it. I saw it a long time ago on television but couldn't remember much about it.

I put it on to watch with a friend recently but we had to switch it off pretty quickly. It didn't seem to work at all but maybe we weren't in the mood for it. To us it was pretty ridiculous and plainly terrible.

I hope I have not shocked the fans but I would like to know what was so good or endearing about the film. It seemed badly dated and the parts where Broderick talks to the viewer didn't help it.

I will try and update it later if I ever get to see it again. I could revise my opinion.
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Pretty bad now.
Gubby-Allen16 February 2004
Sorry folks but got to go against the norm here. I pretty much hated this. I watched it in the 80's & couldn't remember much about it other than I liked it. Watching it again, heaven knows how. The worst thing I found was that it had dated badly. The first Home Alone say, retains far more features which keep it relevant & able to stand the test of time than this.

My main comment is identical to the correspondent below. I too spent the entire film just hoping against hope that Ferris did get his come uppence & that I'd forgotten it. But sadly he didn't & the ending was poor. I never saw the Rooney teacher as the 'baddie' nor found anything that happened to him remotely amusing. Infact I struggled to see where any of the laughs in the film as a whole were. Also, I found Ferris' dad an absolute drip & irritating. Nor was anything they actually did in the day off even slightly exciting. Had I had a choice of a going to a museum, watching baseball or walking alongside a float I'd have chosen school any time. It was hardly worthy of a day off.

And at the risk of being labelled a leftie I didn't like to see the stealing of someones car & then have it speeding around the roads with a uninsured & inexperienced teenage driver at the wheel, trivialised & inserted into a film in the hope of a few cheap laughs. Likewise I've always found something a bit sick in people who use family member's deaths as a means of bunking off school or work, and again this was the basis of more humour. Of course that happens and of course it has a place in films. Someone pretending their nan had died would fit in fine in the Godfather or the Krays but it didn't do anything for this film.

3/10 the lively innovations.

Oh & would anyone called Ferris be that popular?
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I did not care for this cult hit.
MovieGuy1091 September 2011
Ferris Bueller's Day Off-*-Worthless- Directed by: John Hughes. Written by: John Hughes, Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffery Jones, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett, Lyman Ward, Edie McClurg, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein, Del Close, Virginia Capers, Louis Anderson, Max Perlich, T. Scott Coffey, Kristy Swanson.

Pointless and irreverent comedy with Broderick as a cool as ice teen who ditches school with his best buddy (Ruck) and his girlfriend (Sara) but must avoid the angry principal (Jones) and every adult who tries to destroy their plans but miraculously fails.

John Hughes is artificial in his storytelling because there is nothing truthful to say about teenagers. To him, there are two groups of teenagers, those that are unharmed and those that are harmed. By this, I mean Bueller as the unharmed and every other teenager out there as the harmed. Bueller is perfect in every sense of the word and I do not understand how a filmmaker fixated on the destabilization of the teenager could create a protagonist so devoid of conflict.

Ruck's character is Hughes's attempt at realism if only Ruck had played the part a bit better in terms of conflict. Yet Ruck did what he could, the character's emotions come out toward the end and without any warnings, which is Hughes's signature uneven qualities. In the film, kids are great and all adults are morons, which is more nihilism than counterculture. It's silly and goes on without much of a point besides tips and tricks to an unrealistic day of fun grounded by a director who does not know how to keep the elements of his story together.
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An interesting and stylish take on the years of then-contemporary American teenagers, that carries on finding new audiences due to its study of individualism.
johnnyboyz11 June 2009
Like Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller's Day Off seems to hold a pretty firm and entrenched place in whatever 1980s teen cannon that people hold in such high regard. Back to the Future was, perhaps famously, rejected by many-a studios on the basis of 'not being raunchy enough'; something other films of its ilk were at the time. I can imagine something similar happening to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but like Back to the Future, it is the decidedly 'un-raunchy' films of the era that we now revisit the most often and just seem to hold in higher regard.

I think what keeps this film resonating with past and current audiences alike is its clear distinction in paying close attention to young people, and their ever-ongoing battle for independence, for recognition and for individuality. The lead is Ferris Bueller (Broderick); a young and very confident, almost borderline sociopathic in his behaviour, male in then-contemporary America. Ferris is the sort of guy who can con his way into an expensive restaurant; hack his way into the school computer mainframe and shows total disregard to his friend's and certain respective situations when trying to haggle the use of a rare and classic car for the day. The film takes special care in introducing him as an individual whom lives in a large, detached house in a rich neighbourhood that comes complete with a white picket fence. He is literate in all the latest gadgets and pieces of technology, be it home computers used to hack or stereo systems to further the notion he is unwell.

In direct opposition to Ferris is the principal of Ferris' school, named Ed Rooney (Jones). Rooney isn't just out to capture Bueller as he plays truant, he is out to destroy Bueller's life; this, Rooney outlines as his goal very early on in the piece. This seems to be the essence of what keeps audiences old and new consistently discovering the film; that study of 'old vs. young' as these cocky, smart and quite attractive bunch of confident oddball kids dare stand up to those of a high authority; those that are grey, suit-clad authoritarian figures such as Rooney.

But I think Bueller is smarter-still than what he lets on. He talks very early on about how important it is to go to college and learn a trade and live the American Dream, but he does so in a very nonchalant manner, almost as if he is repeating what it is he's told to say, or think, or feel. What follows is a chain of events and total disregard to most things that suggest he isn't of this ideation at all. But the journey does have an ideation; an ideation Bueller himself cooks up to do with being able to notice life and enjoy life as best you can, otherwise it might seem like it's passing you by.

But the film isn't preoccupied with just these studies. Its attention to young vs. old or independence vs. routine is similarly played about with through one of Bueller's two friends named Cameron Frye (Ruck), who is given a slight subplot to do with being able to stand up to his father. Ferris and Cameron's third friend is Sloane Peterson (Sara), Ferris' girlfriend. The three complete an unusual triangle of pals; they are one another's' friend as well as foil, forever getting into adventures and situations but hitting the odd wall when it comes to the finer things during the day out. Cameron is forever concerned with the car; Cameron and Sloane are forever worried they might get caught (particularly when Ferris partakes in a large musical number in the street) and Ferris seems forever pre-occupied that the three of them will not get the best out of their day off; a day off Ferris sees as a gift, as something they worked hard towards earning with their scheming, and thus; must embrace it as fully as possible.

The film is a love story, a comedy that relies on slapstick, situation and screwball alike; the film is an odd beast of basic convention, surrealist humour and truancy glorification. But does it ever focus too much on one thing? Does it particularly care what you might think of it? I don't think it does, it just throws mostly everything at the screen, stirs it all up and allows it all to play out. It feels like two, or possibly three, different films at once – but that's fine because there is enough different sorts of content all brewing at once, and focused on at a balanced rate, that we go with it. One might say the film's attitude echoes that of its lead; it's doing things its own way, in its own style and doesn't particularly mind how you react. It's the kind of film that can go from a slow motion shot of two guys driving a sort-of stolen car that was sort-of stolen in the first place to the Star Wars theme; to a series of scenes that rely on a school teacher falling over a few times as a source of humour. The best thing about it all, is that it's all actually rather effective.
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