Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Movie Review: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Some funny moments
Cons: Ferris is a selfish jerk
The Bottom Line:
Hooky fantasy
Funny but serious flaws
Do not rush to see

"I Asked for a Car, and I Got a Computer.  Talk About Being Born Under a Bad Sign."

For years, I’ve heard of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but I’ve never had a chance to see it.  That changed when my roommate recorded it on Comedy Central recently, and I sat down to watch it.  It was pretty much like I expected.  Not all that great, but with a few funny parts.

It’s a beautiful spring day, and high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) has a bad case of spring fever.  It’s so bad, he’s decided to fake being sick (his ninth time this semester) and skip a test at school.  His parents fall for it, but his sister (Jennifer Grey) and principal (Jeffrey Jones) know better.

So while word goes around school that he has some rare disease, causing the students to be concerned if he will live or not, he enlists his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), who really is sick, to help him have a great day.  They take Cameron's father’s car and conspire to get Ferris’ girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) out of school.  While the three trek all over Chicago have wild adventures, his principal is hot on his trail, trying to prove the truth.  Will Ferris pull off playing hooky?

Okay, so there is a part of me that enjoyed the film.  The fantasy of playing hooky still resonates with this adult, and I enjoyed see what he and his friends did.  Plus there are some very fun close calls that you have to enjoy.

But the other part of me really didn’t like Ferris.  He was a selfish jerk who was going to get things his way or else.  And that part I found very annoying.  He shows little to no concern for anyone but himself as the movie goes along.  The “good guys” wind up coming around to his point of view while the “bad guys” don’t.  It’s that simple.

Of course, I put the terms above in quotes since there are no true villains here.  The principal comes the closest, but he’s only there for some conflict and suspense.  In fact, he gets the funniest scenes.

Then there’s the climax.  Maybe something was edited out for time on TV, but a character has a change of heart that comes out of left field and really makes no sense.

The acting is good from everyone.  And watch for Charlie Sheen in a small part as a drug addict.

This is definitely an 80’s movie.  The styles and the music confirm this.  Not saying it isn’t fun, just saying you can’t get away from it.

Some scenes in the film are full of bad language.  Comedy Central had to cut those words out, which I appreciated.

I enjoyed Ferris Bueller's Day Off enough that I would watch it again, but I’m not in a rush to do so.  It’s mildly entertaining, but not nearly as good as its reputation leads me to believe it was.


  1. This is my hubbys' favorite film. It is hilarious for the era it came out in.

    1. And I'm sure if I'd seen it back then, I'd appreciate it more. But seeing it for the first time a week ago, I noticed the flaws a bit more.

      As I said, not a bad movie. I'd watch it again. But it's not something I'd rush out to watch again.