‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ Turns 25; Adult Sequel Mandatory

COMMENTARY | “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was one of John Hughes’ best 1980s teen comedies. It starred Matthew Broderick as the smart aleck, scheming teenager who employed all sorts of machinations to skip school one final day and have adventures instead.

Mia Sara starred as Ferris’ girlfriend Sloane, Alan Ruck as his hypochondriac friend Cameron, Jennifer Grey as resentful sister Jeannie, and Jeffrey Jones as put-upon dean of students Edward Rooney. Twenty-five years later, Broderick is the only actor from the movie who has some current notoriety, aside from Charlie Sheen.

On the surface, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is a romp, with Ferris, Sloane, and the reluctant Cameron adventuring all over Chicago while Mr. Rooney attempts to catch them and thus force Ferris to repeat the current school year for excessive tardiness. The adults are, for the most part, clueless, especially Ferris’ parents, who buy the act their son pulls faking illness, using a sound system to simulate disgusting, sick noises.

One of the features of the film was the use of the “fourth wall” technique in which Broderick, as Ferris, addressed the audience directly and comments on his situation and his attitudes toward life in general. The technique, which might have been distracting in lesser hands, is affecting in the movie.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” features cameos by two actors who have become famous in other venues.

Ben Stein appears as the monotone history teacher who puts his students to sleep, uttering his classic line while taking roll: “Bueller — Bueller — Bueller …” Stein is more famous as a political pundit, a former Nixon staffer, an economist, and a pitch man for an eye drops product.

Charlie Sheen appears in a scene with Grey at a police station. Sheen and Grey had acted together before in the futuristic war movie “Red Dawn.” Sheen is most famous these days as the former star of “Two and a Half Men,” whose antics off screen have proved to be just as entertaining as on.

The movie ended with a kind of serious note that involved an accident with a Ferrari and a dose of personal responsibility, both of which Ferris lacked. However, the ending involved Ferris escaping from the consequences of his actions by the skin of his teeth and his nemesis, Rooney, in utter humiliation.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is something that cries out for an adult reunion movie. One imagines that Ferris at age 42 or thereabouts is some kind of corporate mogul or political power broker, though perhaps he has also gone to prison. It would be entertaining to see.

Source: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Yahoo Movies