Movie Review: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck and Jeffrey Jones

Directed by: John Hughes

Ferris Bueller is a senior in high school and has decided to take a sick day from school. He’s joined by his girlfriend and best friend as they seek an adventure despite his principal being highly skeptical and determined to prove Ferris is faking.

Yes, I know, I have only just gotten round to watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which may come as a shock to many of you but I genuinely have never seen it before. It seems to be one of those movies that everybody has seen and is considered to be one of the best movies of its genre in the eighties. While I’ve seen most of the other classic high school movies from the same time, I’ve always seemed to skip by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off until now.

While I’ve never seen this movie until now I knew the general gist of the story and it’s the classic story of the teenager (Ferris Bueller) who seems somewhat untouchable in everything he does although he hasn’t been able to fool everybody. His sister Jeanie and high school principal Ed Rooney see right through his act and are determined to rumble his good image that he’s managed to concoct. Ferris manages to trick his parents into thinking he’s sick so he can have the day off school and once they leave for work, Ferris puts his master plan into action so he can spend the day with his best friend Cameron and girlfriend Sloane in the city.

The laughs in this movie are frequent as the 100 minutes or so just seems to fly by in a flash as the audience are able to enjoy the crazy antics that Ferris and friends get up to. Principal Rooney was definitely the best character within the movie as he’s so determined to catch Ferris skipping school that he finds himself continuously landing in sticky situations. Ed Rooney is played by the fantastically funny Jeffrey Jones who is an incredibly under rated actor in my opinion. His mannerisms and expressions are key to sell the comedy and he and his receptionist Grace are brilliant together during the few scenes they share. Despite being over 30 years old the comedy still holds up today which was nice as sometimes great comedy movies of the past fail to translate to modern day audiences.

If I had to think of a reason why I had been putting off watching this movie I’d probably say it would be because of Matthew Broderick. The movies that I’ve seen of his he tends to be very annoying in the majority of them and I’m not sure if that’s just a quirk of each of his characters or I just find his acting style to be not to my liking. Here in Ferris Bueller he seems a lot more tolerable as he plays the title character and while at times he was a little grating I loved the segments when he was breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience, such a great concept that was executed very well.

The director of this movie was John Hughes and while he’s more famously known for his work as a writer he also dabbled a little in directing and this is another feather in his cap. He took on double duty as he wrote and directed Ferris Bueller and I think he did a fantastic job at both aspects of this production and he deserves a small honourable mention.

Overall, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was every bit as good as it was meant to be and I’m pleased to have been able to finally check it off my list. I didn’t like the parade scene that much but I loved the performances of both Jeffrey Jones and Alan Ruck in this true eighties comedy classic.


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