In 1986, John Hughes was the man to work with, he was the director that created the ‘Breakfast Club’, ‘Pretty in Pink’, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ and he even wrote ‘Home Alone’, all of which are regarded as being some of the best films released in the 80’s (and there were a lot released too…). And then came Bueller, Ferris Bueller, the fun loving skiver that managed to do more in a day than most people can achieve in their entire lives. This film marked Hughes as being (possibly) the greatest director of teen movies of all time.
‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ is a film of love, loss, desperation and most importantly, how to get the day off school with a worry free attitude (unless of course, you’re Cameron). Although the three main characters do face the odd problem, the lesson to be learned is that, if you’re lucky, so very very lucky, you can get away with just about anything. I never said that it was a moral triumph, okay! But the lack of morals is what makes Bueller so good, the complete ridiculous nature of the situations is so beyond achievability that your mind just forces itself into a state of belief wherein it’s completely reasonable that a teenager could hijack a parade float and mime ‘Danke Schoen’ to the delight of thousands of people.
As the plot is so ridiculous, many people, and by many, I mean conspiracy theorists, believe that there is no Ferris, there is only Cameron and this is his vision of how he wishes he could be. How he wishes that he could get Sloane and have the ability to stop caring about what could go wrong. To be fair, this is a reasonable theory as Ferris does manage to get away with a whole cavalcade of illogical acts but, isn’t that just makes him Ferris?
Being an 80’s classic and one of the films that makes John Hughes so highly revered, one would assume that Bueller is a fantastic film but no, I would argue that although it is a great film, its edge against ‘The Breakfast Club’ and others is its sense of escapism. Ferris’ adventures around the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois provide the audience with a yearning to go out and do something extraordinary, to take the day off and have a whole community want to ‘save’ you. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off acts like a ‘The Goonies’ but for adults, whilst the kids want to find ‘One Eyed Willie’ the adults want to become the ‘Sausage King of Chicago’. If you know what I mean…
Growing up I loved Ferris Bueller and no-one seems to understand why I hold it so close to my heart but the answer is obvious, really. As a child, I was bullied and Ferris provided a form of escape that was far more legitimate than the likes of the Goonies or Sarah trying to find the middle of David Bowie’s Labyrinth. The plot of Ferris could, in essence, actually happen, which in terms of the present, ‘The Princess Bride’ couldn’t.
The thing that you need to remember of course is that; ‘Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it.’ So go ahead, take the day off, enjoy yourself and don’t worry about the consequences because with some luck, you might just get away with it…
9 Parade Floats out of 10.