Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guilty pleasure pick: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

As a child of the 80s, I can do two things: spot a shoulder pad and quote John Hughes' movies. (I could also tell you where I was the first time I got my first Cabbage Patch Doll, but I digress ...) A classic Hughes movie, and I would argue his most funny, Ferris Bueller's Day Off still holds up 26 years later. And if you haven't seen it, or might want to revisit, I would recommend this oldie but goodie.

Do you that have a person in your life that seems to have everything work out for them? Well, Ferris is one of those people. The premise is simple: high-schooler Ferris wants to ditch school because it's too nice outside to sit in class all day. Of course, shenanigans and comedy ensue, though not without the dramatic moment in the best friend's garage after one of the shenanigans goes awry. All the other schemes, of course, work out because this is a Hollywood movie. But the fun is in the vicarious feelings, that, yeah, I wish I could play hooky too just once and have it be as great as Ferris' day off.

The performances are well done by all, but Matthew Broderick as the titular character, is golden. He carries the film with charm. The opening sequence alone is genius and a precursor to the use of the quick-cut-with-a-jumping-topic/situation-soliloquy, which is nowadays ubiquitous in many comedies. Alan Ruck (Cameron) and Mia Sara (Sloane, an appropriately North Shore name) are Ferris' best friend and girlfriend respectively. They are his sidekicks for the day, and each have their own moments. I particularly like Ruck's scene early on when Broderick is trying to convince him to play hooky too. Jennifer Grey, pre-Dirty Dancing days, excels as Ferris' jealous sister, Jeanie and even Charlie Sheen has a cameo that fits: bad boy.

FBDO may not compete with comedy classics such as Blazing Saddles or Caddyshack, but it's still a gem of a movie and good for a night in from the cold weather.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
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