Reel Reviews

Film Reviews by a Real Person, Not a Critic

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Title: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Year: 1986
Director: John Hughes
Starring Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones
Rated: PG-13

Reel Reviews Rating:

The first time I watched this movie, I was in sixth grade. It was a particularly rainy Friday, so they decided to just make it a film day for the whole school. They cleared out all the tables and chairs in the cafeteria and we sat on the floor.

I thought at the time that it was the most brilliant movie ever made.

Not because it was so funny, not because I thought Matthew Broderick was cute, but because there were tips on how to fake being sick.

I actually took notes during the first ten minutes of the movie, as Ferris explains the proper way to fake an illness without going overboard.

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 good phoney fever is a deadlock, but you get a nervous mother, you could wind 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.

I thought that this guy was a GOD.

Over the years and even now I’d catch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on HBO or some other channel, and I still never tire of it.

For those too young to remember this movie (or those unfortunate enough never to have seen it for some reason), the movie is basically about a guy (Matthew Broderick) who skips school with his friends and gallavants all over Chicago.

Sounds like a pretty simple, almost boring plot, doesn’t it?

There’s more.

Ferris is such an unbelievably charming and likeable person, that he can pretty much get away with anything. His parents coo and fuss over him. He convinces his pessimistic best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to take his father’s beloved 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California for a spin. The whole school worships him. The whole town loves him as well. However, two people unaffected by Ferris’ charms -his older, jealous sister Jeannie (Jennifer Grey), and his archnemesis, Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones)- are determined to catch Ferris playing hooky.

This movie is great on so many levels. First and foremost, it’s hella funny, especially in the scenes where Principal Rooney tries to catch Ferris. The dialogue is extremely quotable. Check out this list of memorable quotes from the movie. EVERYONE and their mother knows that when someone says the name Abe Froman, you immediately want to follow up with, “The Sausage King of Chicago?” Second, the cast is top notch. The scenes in which Cameron disquises his voice while making prank phone calls. Third, the silly misadventures Ferris and his friends get into makes you wish that you could be with them playing hooky too. Finally, you get a great tour of Chicago.

Ferris Bueller is a timeless classic. My 17-year old sister and her friends adore the movie (along with other John Hughes films), while I still watch it whenever it’s on TV.

In a nutshell, rent it! Or better yet, buy it! It’s a great movie.

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December 19, 2005 - Posted by | Comedy, John Hughes films


  1. Your review giving me to great ideas. First, I should try the “clamming hands” at the doctors the next time I need an exam exemption. Second, this sounds like a very good movie to bring on my baby sitting gig.
    Thank you

    Comment by Damon Z | December 19, 2005 | Reply

  2. Hands down, one of the greatest movies ever made. Sit through to the end of the credits and Ferris addresses the audience again. Great quotes: Ferris–Do you have a kiss for daddy. Rooney–Oh, so that’s how it is in their family. Some movies you can only watch once, maybe twice, but this one is worth owning.

    Comment by Steve, Head Sheep | December 30, 2005 | Reply

  3. Damon- Good luck with getting out of your exams! Hopefully your instructors haven’t seen this movie 🙂

    Steve- Yeah, I love the end credits. “You’re still here? Go home!” Ya know, it just dawned on me: is Ferris Bueller the inspiration for Tracey Ulman’s end scenes on her show? She would do the same thing: come out in a bathrobe and tell people to go home. Hmmm…

    Comment by Toni | December 30, 2005 | Reply

  4. Ferris was a total dweeb , Cameron was the star ! He was just like me when I was a kid :p

    Comment by foo | January 4, 2006 | Reply

  5. Foo- yeah, Cameron rocks! I can’t believe that Alan Ruck was 30 years old when he played the part! The only person playing her true age in this film was Mia Sara, who was 17. Sad to say, she now looks a lot older than everybody else.

    Comment by Toni | January 4, 2006 | Reply

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