In the more somber action films set in Chicago that have been reviewed this week, viewers see little of the windy city’s famous landmarks. The Sears Tower, the Art Institute, the Mercantile Exchange and Wrigley Field are all noteworthy attractions worthy of exploration, and they get their due in John Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” a raucous comedy from 1986.
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” stars Matthew Broderick as the popular and confident high school senior Ferris Bueller. One fine spring morning, he eschews the classroom, convincing his parents that he is too ill to attend. He coaxes his skittish friend, Cameron (played by Alan Ruck), to join him. Joining them is Ferris’s fun-loving girlfriend, Sloane (played by Mia Sara). They take Cameron’s dad’s prized Ferrari and trek from their suburban enclave into metropolitan Chicago to have a day of fun and adventure. Hoping to catch Ferris is the dour Dean of students, Ed Rooney (played by Jeffrey Jones), who suspects the carefree Ferris is playing hooky. As the day proceeds, word spreads amongst his peers that Ferris is sick and everyone wishes him to get well soon.
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is a very amusing film that focuses on the mayhem that can be created by teenagers without depicting them as self-centered jerks. Some of the adult characters are the source of the funniest parts of the movie. Ed Rooney goes to extremes in his efforts to reveal Ferris’s shenanigans, and Ben Stein’s deadpan delivery of a lecture on supply side economics is rightly remembered by “anyone” who saw the original.
Matthew Broderick is perfectly cast as Ferris Bueller. He manages to render the character as self-indulgent but eminently likeable, even to adult audience members. Another strong performance is by Jennifer Grey, who plays his long-suffering sister, Jeannie, who resents him since he is able to fake getting ill. Charlie Sheen is also excellent in a small role; he plays a young criminal Jeannie meets at a police station.
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is one of John Hughes’ best films. It is a must-see for any comedy fan.