I’ve gotta say, I love me some ’80s movies. Probably because John Hughes hit it big, and he made all those movies geared toward teens. Movies that delighted me to no end because they spoke my 1980s angsty truth.
A couple of weeks ago we ran our second viewing of a classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
We tried watching it a few years ago but had to put the movie on a permanent hold…let’s just say the kids started using certain expressions that showed me they weren’t quite ready for PG humor. But with time comes maturity. Or at least the understanding that laughing at something inappropriate in a movie doesn’t give you license to say it, and that works for us.
So Ferris Bueller is one of my favorites for all kinds of reasons, only two of which I’ll talk about today.
I absolutely love the movie’s style. The main character frequently breaks the fourth wall, directly addressing the camera (and the audience) so we hear the thoughts behind his actions. Broderick had this dry, witty style that came across perfectly as a teenager who knew just what he wanted and was in no hurry to join the adult world. In a way he was the voice of every teenager – the thoughts we had about our parents, our schools, limitations put on us, and living our own lives. And Hughes wasn’t afraid to let the character throw the occasional deep thought curveball because he didn’t pigeonhole teenagers in superficial roles.
I guess all that’s to say I thought the Ferris Bueller character was pretty awesome.
The other thing I love is how incredibly quotable this movie is. Some of the more well-known ones:
- Ferris: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
- Economics Teacher: “Bueller?…Bueller?…Bueller?”
- Cameron: “What’d I do?” Ferris: “You killed the car.”
- Rooney: “He jeopardizes my ability to effectively govern this student body.” Grace: “Well, he makes you look like an ass is what he does, Ed.”
And the lesser known quotes but ones that also made me giggle:
- Ferris: “Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself.”
- Grace: “Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”
- Ferris: “The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you a phony fever is a dead lock, but you get a nervous mother, you could end up in a doctor’s office. That’s worse than school. You fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.”
- Rooney: “I don’t trust this kid any further than I can throw him.” Grace: “Well with your bad knee Ed, you shouldn’t throw anybody…it’s true.”
- Ferris: “I do have a test today, that wasn’t bullshit. It’s on European socialism. I mean, really, what’s the point? I’m not European. I don’t plan on being European. So who gives a crap if they’re socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.”
I’d call it romping good fun for the whole (older) family.