Bueller, Bueller, Bueller…


Courtesy of Backstage Magazine

Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron taking a ride through the streets of Chicago.

As the end of the school year approaches, the days start feeling longer and the weekends start feeling shorter. Assignments, finals, and IB tests are piling up. If there is one person I relate to right now, it is Ferris Bueller. There is nothing I would love more than to call in ‘sick’ and play hookey for a day.

Written, directed, and co-produced by John Hughes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is the ultimate 80’s film. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off follows a day in the life of a high school student who fakes being sick and runs around the streets of Chicago. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) convinces his girlfriend:, Sloane (Mia Sara), and his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck) to join him. Meanwhile, their high school principal (Jeffrey Jones) is making a great effort to prove that Ferris is not in fact sick.

According to the official Rotten Tomatoes Website, the film has an 81% Tomatometer rating and a 92% from the audience score rating. It is no surprise that the film did this well, and it couldn’t have been achieved if it weren’t for Hughes. Hughes is additionally known for films such as “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” According to Vanity Fair, he wrote the script of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in a week.

Hughes noted that he tried his best to capture the spirit of Chicago – he included many famous Chicago landmarks such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field, and even a downtown Chicago parade.

“Chicago is what I am. A lot of Ferris is sort of my love letter to the city. And the more people who get upset with the fact that I film there, the more I’ll make sure that’s exactly where I film,” Hughes said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “It’s funny–nobody ever says anything to Woody Allen about always filming in New York. America has this great reverence for New York. I look at it as this decaying horror pit. So let the people in Chicago enjoy Ferris Bueller.”

However, the spirit of Chicago was not the only thing Hughes was able to capture. Although the film focuses on high school students, it is relatable to different ages as well. The film explores themes such as friendship, freedom, and individuality. This is seen through Ferris’ fight against societal norms. This is a perfect example of a coming-of-age film, as it captures Ferris’ perspective on finding the meaning of life. Although Ferris has countless memorable lines, there are a few quotes that perfectly capture these main ideas, many of which Ferris is staring directly into the camera for:

1. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris says this right off the bat in the beginning of the movie. This is one of the most recognizable quotes from the film. Through this quote, Ferris teaches the audience to embrace life and to not get caught up in worries regarding the past or the future. In simpler terms, live in the moment.

2. “The question isn’t ‘what are we going to do,’ the question is ‘what aren’t we going to do?” Throughout the film, Ferris disregards others’ thoughts about him, whether it is his principal or best friend. This quote reflects Ferris’ ability to look at life with a more optimistic mindset. He teaches us to embrace spontaneity and avoid hesitation – make the very most out of every given moment.

3. “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. I quote John Lennon, ‘I don’t believe in the Beatles, I just believe in me.’ Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.” This expresses Ferris’ ability to focus on the little things while showing his strong sense of individuality. Although the randomness of this line gives it a sense of nonsense, it is not one to be overlooked. There isn’t a single moment in the film where Ferris doubts himself. Through this, Ferris teaches us all to believe in ourselves, no matter what situation you are in – whether you’re singing and dancing on top of a float in front of 10,000 people or convincing your parents that you are sick, and I think this is something that every teenager should strive for.