MRR's Movie of the Week: Seven Reasons Why "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" Will Always Be a Classic

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Matthew Broderick stars as Ferris Bueller, a smart aleck who is determined to have a day off from school, despite his suspecting principal.
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
January 21st, 2013

MRR's Movie of the Week: Seven Reasons Why "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" Will Always Be a Classic

No movie has depicted high school truancy in such flare as the 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Directed by John Hughes, the film is an innocent, funny look at an epic day of skipping school with Ferris (Matthew Broderick) and his friends (played by Mia Sara and Alan Ruck). Together, this trio takes a tour through the museums, venues, and even a parade in Chicago while ducking an obsessed principal (Jeffrey Jones) and thwarting the efforts of an annoying little sister (Jennifer Grey). The exploits of Ferris and the other characters in the film come together to create a film classic that carries the title for a handful of reasons.

Nostalgia Effect

Parents and people who were teens in the 1980s can watch Ferris and the gang while reminiscing about their own teenage escapades. The reason is that the characters cover a day in the life of a typical teen who dares to live out an epic plan. Every person watching the film can remember his or her own antics at the same age in memories brought on by watching the film.

The John Hughes Legacy

Hughes has well-known successful depictions of some of the most dramatic moments and events in a teenager's life. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is about skipping school, while "Pretty in Pink" is about high school crushes. Other films from the Hughes movie canon like "The Breakfast Club" work at some aspects of the teenage life, giving audiences old and young a way to identify with the characters and their stories.

Typical Teens in Action

Each person in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" takes on the character of a typical teen. Ferris is a suave, charming, but conniving extrovert. His friend is an introvert, nerdy, and very shy. The girlfriend is the sweet, but adventurous girl next door. These are characters that audience members knew or who they were as teenagers.

Wish Fulfillment

All teens had an elaborate plan that they really wished to implement if only they had the nerve and/or the opportunity. Bueller has the plan and enacts it with ease. It is an epic skip day that every teen would have loved to orchestrate, but couldn't. As adults, these memories come back when watching Bueller and his pals onscreen fulfilling the wish that many in the audience never had the opportunity to accomplish.

Postcard to Chicago

One of the often forgotten characters in the film is the city of Chicago. However, once the skip day begins, audience members are greeted with views of the skyline, downtown, and inside some of the most famous Chicago venues. In this way, the movie acts like a postcard to Chicago in the 1980s, giving people who knew and loved the city a reason to love Bueller even more. Few other films showcase the city in the same way.

The Charming Ferris

The charming Bueller was a face that every girl wanted to know and a teen that every boy wanted to be. So many adults can remember their attempts at fooling their parents into a sick day or taking dad's vintage roadster for a spin. The way that Bueller charms adults into giving in to his plan is admirable. These actions had been tried by teens growing up with the film since Bueller hit the screen in 1986. He has a comedic smoothness and an innocence that has yet to be duplicated in a teen movie.

An '80s Comedy in a Nutshell

The sprayed up bangs, rolled-cuff pants, colorful high-tops, and shoulder pads are just some of the typical '80s attire that is featured in the film. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" captures some of the nuances of the 1980s that adults will remember from their teen years at the time and that current teens can learn from. The movie is also a look into the slang of teens at the time as well as the attitudes, cars, and other characteristics that set the scene for this typical '80s teen movie. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" can easily be used as a study in adolescent '80s teen life.

Whether you saw the movie when it was released in 1986 or if you experience it for the first time today, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was and still is a classic film that rightfully carries the title. In addition to being a star in the John Hughes canon of films, the movie hails back to the '80s by depicting the typical teen in the city of Chicago: doing the things that everyone wished he or she could at that age. These elements make "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" a definite classic film.