Youth is not wasted on the young, at least not when the young person in question is Ferris Bueller. For those who saw the classic movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when it was released in theatres in 1986 or in the years that followed when it was released on VHS cassette and on cable, Ferris was the guy you wished you were, wished were your best friend, or wished you were dating.
Writer and director John Hughes had numerous successful and very good to great movies in the 1980s, but for the true movie buffs, there were two that stood out above the rest, The Breakfast Club and of course, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Matthew Broderick stars as Ferris and gives an incredible performance. The character could very easily — and probably should have — come across as someone who is to be despised. But Broderick brought such energy, charm, and charisma to the role that it was impossible to root against him. From faking an illness in order to ditch school, to stealing a Ferrari, to sneaking into an expensive restaurant and embarrassing the snotty and snooty maître d’, anyone watching had to be caught up in Ferris’ web of excitement, deceit, and adventure.
During his travels through Chicago with his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), and girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), Ferris is being hunted by his two greatest enemies, his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), and his high school’s Dean of Students, Edward R. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones).
Ferris and Jeanie have a bizarre relationship and are actually jealous of one another. Ferris wishes he had been given a car by his parents, like Jeanie, while she secretly wishes that she could get away with whatever she wanted, just like Ferris always does.
Cameron is a hypochondriac who has a terrible relationship with his parents — which is why it probably was not a good idea for Ferris to steal Cameron’s father’s Ferrari. It was a necessary evil though, as the Ferrari was used in their elaborate plot to sneak Sloane out of school early. This plot only further enhanced the suspicions of Rooney, who suspected Ferris was not really sick and was just skipping school.
For those who have seen the movie before and are confused about the appearance of Jennifer Grey then and now, yes, she has had a great deal of plastic surgery and now looks completely different. Yes, changing her appearance clearly ruined her career as she couldn’t capitalize on her early success as she became unrecognizable. And no, Jennifer Aniston was not supposed to portray Jeanie in the movie. She played Jeanie in the television version of Ferris that was created several years later and that John Hughes refused to be associated with.
For those who are watching the movie for the first time, make sure to look out for a rather foretelling, ironic, and hilarious cameo from Charlie Sheen. And yes, the movie is the inspiration for the name of the band Save Ferris. On your day off, watch Ferris’; you won’t be disappointed.