216. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

★★★½

Don your leopard print sweaters and throttle the nearest vintage red Ferrari in your vicinity find because Mr. Bueller is here to play. This movie is pure escapism, a no-holds-barred adventure featuring a hero who’s confidence is infectious and by no means obnoxious. This movie isn’t the best John Hughes picture, but it is the most enjoyable.

Is it even worth mentioning the plot? You’ve probably seen it by now. But in case you haven’t indulged in any form of pop culture since 1986, Ferris Bueller focuses on the one-day misadventure of said character (played by Matthew Broderick), his less boisterous pal Cameron (played by Alan Ruck) and his beautiful but unpresumptious girlfriend Sloan (Mia Sara). Ferris successfully concocts a plan to get the three out of school’s bars for the day, resulting in early museum visits, afternoon baseball games and the occasional dance session in the citywide parade all before getting home.

While Hughes other films delved into the emotional complexities of being a teen, Ferris is much more fruitful in teenage guilty pleasures. It still bodes the occasional dose of youthful existentialism through Cameron, but his moments of melancholy don’t damper the mood of fun. And it realistically portrays the jealousy of youth, like how his sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) resents every advantage he’s given in life for no apparent reason. And how Principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), a man in his forties at least, goes to extreme lengths to bring Ferris down, seemingly only because he is young. The plight against Ferris is only by those who wish they could do what he does, or wish they had what he had. He’s a character in a lawless world, a citizen without an authoritarian, whose only oppression is by those who wish he had an oppressor.

But this just illustrates further how the concept of school is ultimately stupid and pointless. Missing one day as a teacher or a student will cause little to no harm, but breaking away for a single day is the most offensive crime a teen can commit sans committing a class C felony. The film’s only fault is in its lack of character progression for Sloane, a person whose only identity is apparently being Ferris’ girlfriend. We never hear about her dreams, goals or ambitions, she just serves as arm candy, a woman who allures us with her looks but never lets us look into her mind. Still, the movie provides ample joy to negate that character development pain. While I’d disagree with the film’s stance that Sloane’s opinions don’t matter, I really had too much of a fun time to complain.

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