Being a teenager in the 1980s I lived on a steady diet of John Hughes (Uncle Buck, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc.) films. One of the best and probably the highlight of Matthew Broderick's (The Producers, Glory) film career was Ferris Bueller's Day Off (originally released in 1986). Pretending you are sick and having a wild adventure of a day is every high school student's dream. This film did it well and just crazy enough to make it fun for everyone.
High school senior Ferris Bueller decides he needs a day off. He gets the day off school by faking an illness. Ferris then gets his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara – Timecop, A Stranger Among Us), and his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck – The Happening, Cheaper By the Dozen – 2003), to spend the day with him in Chicago. A sort of last hurrah for the friends before they go off to different colleges in the fall. They trio manage to fool everyone except Ferris's sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey – Dirty Dancing, Redbelt), and the principal, Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones – Dr. Doolittle 2, Stuart Little).
Ferris is able to talk Cameron into using his father's classic 1961 Ferrari to drive to the city in. The three friends park the car (which is taken on a joy ride by the attendants) and take in the sights of the city. They go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Park, the Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Von Stueben Day Parade, and the Chicago Board of Trade.
After a full day of adventure Ferris and Cameron are in a panic when they realize that the car has an extra couple of hundred of miles on it. They have to figure out how to turn back the odometer. Ferris comes up with a plan, but it doesn't go exactly how he had mapped it out. He then has to get home without being caught by Mr. Rooney and his parents.
The film is one of the rare 1980s films that doesn't look too dated. Because of the universal and time honoured tradition of teenagers skipping school even teens today can relate to the film. It nicely packages the humourous, carefree days of high school alongside some more serious things. The trials and tribulations of growing up are not sugar coated. High school days are masterfully captured.
Yes, it is over-the-top at times, but that is what makes it fun. Most teenagers' feelings about what is happening to them are larger-than-life, so it is accurate in that way. It's a movie and not a depiction of real life. What it should be real about (how teenagers feel about school, their friends, the opposite sex, their parents, etc) is well done. It works for all ages because everyone can remember being that age and what it felt like.
-Getting the Class Together
-The Making of Ferris Bueller's Day Off
-Who Is Ferris Bueller
-World According to Ben Stein
-Vintage Ferris: The Lost Tapes