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Ferris Bueller's Day OffUSA 1986
Directed by John Hughes
Running time 103 minutes
Writer/director John Hughes' classic 80s teen comedy deftly weds irreverent humour and sight gags with a more serious-minded commentary on the generation gap and does it all with a genial good-naturedness that means that it will long outlast the crass, pudenda-based comedy which became mainstream in the 1990s.
Matthew Broderick in his most iconic role plays Ferris a too-cool-for-school teenager who takes the day off (the opening scene in which Ferris fakes an illness for the benefit of his parents is beautifully staged by Hughes) to show his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck) and girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) how to really live. To do so he must elude the pursuit of Mr Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) the school principal who is determined to nail his No.1 enemy for good. His endlessly thwarting provides a goodly portion of the film’s fun.
The bulk of the film is given over to the threesome’s liberating escapades which involve such things as “borrowing” Cameron’s Dad’s Ferrari (leading to one of the best gags of the film in which Richard Edson's garage attendant takes it for a joyride), a visit to the Chicago Museum of Art, and attending a German-American Day parade with Ferris leaping onto a float and belting out " Danke Schoen” and “Twist and Shout” as he tries to instill in Cameron, who is effectively crippled by his father’s lack of affection for him, a taste for adventure. While the film pretends to have achieved this with Cameron damaging then unintentionally destroying the much-better loved Ferrari, whether this has any credibility as technique of self-assertion is highly debatable. In fact, one would imagine quite the reverse.
It’s a glib resolution to the core theme but its audience was hardly likely to care about such things and the film became a huge success with Ferris becoming the role model for a generation of teens.