Monday, May 21, 2012

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (John Hughes, 1986) Review

Now it's no secret that the late John Hughes was one of the greatest writers/directors of the eighties. I would have said all time but he certainly slipped in quality much later on. His later works include Flubber and Home Alone 3 so there is a clear indication of his quality. Crap in other words. If we were to forget about those times then we can rest assured that, yes, his films were great and Ferris Bueller's Day Off is definitely one of his best.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off follows the eponymous protagonist, Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who manages to fake illness in order to get a day off high school (again, John Hughes). He manages to bust his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) out and also meets up with his friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) who was also off school but, unlike Ferris, was actually ill. Their principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) suspects foul play and seeks after them. There is also a sub-plot featured which shows what Ferris' sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) is doing while Ferris and his friends have their day off.

There is one very interesting technique that is used in the film on numerous occasions which is how Ferris 'breaks the fourth wall'. Not familiar breaking the fourth wall? It is simply when a character on a screen interacts with the audience. Ferris does this at numerous points in the film in order to give the audience background to the characters and places for example Cameron and his dad's car.

One of my biggest complaints is more of a nitpick if anything. After the end of the film, there are way too many enigma codes (unanswered questions) left. I for one would have loved to know what happened to the other characters after the credits rolled. We only learn about what happens to Ferris, Jeanie and Rooney. Cameron was left in a REALLY bad predicament that was left unseen. I guess it can be left to the imagination but you can only rely on that technique oh so many times.

While this may not be John Hughes' best work (that will be left for another time...just you wait), it is certainly Matthew Broderick at his best. He also wasn't at his best during the nineties when he starred in such "hits" as Godzilla (That's a lot of fish!) and Inspector Gadget. Okay, so The Lion King was good but that doesn't count since that was voice acting...same goes for The Thief and the Cobbler (which ever version he was in...I just have no idea what happened with that film). Yeah, Matthew Broderick got his own paragraph. That's because he is probably one of the reasons this film is so great! Ben Stein, Jeffrey Jones and Alan Ruck are also great.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off clearly stands as one of the best teen films from the eighties and is also one of John Hughes' best (not THE best but it's close). It's a fun films that anyone can enjoy and also offers some very memorable scenes and moments that I assure you will stay in your head for a long time to come.

A fun teen film that, while a little far-fetched, is still a treat to watch over and over again.

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