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Ferris Bueller's Day Off
1986 - PG-13 - 102 Mins.
Director: John Hughes
Producer: John Hughes, Tom Jacobson
Written By: John Hughes
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen, Kristy Swanson
Review by: John Ulmer
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" represents what every teenager wants to do, and what every adult wishes they could do - take a day off and go and do things they have never dreamed of before; or, at least, never dreamed about out loud...

John Hughes, director of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," presents us this compelling idea, using the object of a clever eighteen year old male teenager, named Ferris Bueller.

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a real con man (or kid). He plays his parents like butter, and just about the only people who don't fall for his tricks and feel-sorry-for-me routines are his sister, Jeanie (pre-nose job Jennifer Grey) and school principle Edward Rooney (pre-arrested Jeffrey Jones), both of whom track down Ferris after he picks up worry-wart friend Cameron Frye(Alan Ruck) and girlfriend Sloane Peters (Mia Sara) and takes them into downtown Chicago for a day of fun.

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" isn't as smart, emotional, entertaining or endearing as "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," but it still tops the list as one of John Hughes' greatest achievements. The reason John Hughes' films are so respected and well known, especially his teen films, is because they don't use teenager cliches. We don't see The Jock, The Cheerleader, The Loser, etc... he uses deep and involving characters with visible emotions; not one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs.

There are some very interesting scenes in "Ferris Bueller's...," including a segment where young Ferris gets up in the middle of a parade and sings "Twist and Shout" to spectators; proof that Ferris can butter down any and everybody but Jeanie and Ed.

Matthew Broderick seems like he is playing...Matthew Broderick. He has a very smug impression on screen that impresses even the biggest doubters of this film.

Alan Ruck is completely loveable and convincable as a worrying teen born into a dysfunctional family. Ferris mentions in one scene: "Cameron's so tight, that if you stuck a lump of coal up his *, in two weeks it would turn into a diamond." Ruck pulls this kind of character off very well, and is very, very enjoyable on screen.

Mia Sara is perfect as Ferris' girl; she seems like the kind of girl Ferris would go for. We feel that Sloane Peters knows that Ferris is a bit bad, but still goes along with him for guilty pleasure.

Then there's Jeffrey Jones, very impressable in his best role as Ed Rooney. I love in one scene when Jones sticks his eye through a knot in a wooden door; his blue eyes turn into the size of watermelons.

And finally, there's Edie McClurg, playing Rooney's school receptionist (oddly enough, she's the car rental receptionist in Hughes' other film that I mentioned before: "Planes..."). In one part, she says, "Oh, Ed, you sounded just like Dirty Harry then!"

I love Jones' reaction to this; we realize that Jones and McClurg have an oddly excellent on screen chemistry. We feel that Rooney makes bad comments about McClurg, but subconsciously and maybe knowingly enjoys her company and flattering compliments. It sounds very odd, but Jones and McClurg are part of what makes this film.

After writing the recent sleepers "Reach the Rock," John Hughes' career may sadly have ended. However, if so, we can always look back on his classic, smart films like these with a smile and a chuckle, as we feel every laugh, emotional hurt, pain and so forth that the characters we have come to love so very much feel...

Also note cameos by: Ben Stein ("Bueller, Bueller, Bueller, Bueller?"), and Charlie Sheen as a drug adict ("Oh, you know him?)...
Movie Guru Rating
An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater.
  4 out of 5 stars

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