On June 11, the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is celebrating its 30th anniversary. I am now going to age myself because I remember when I first fell in love with Ferris and saw him at the movie theater in the summer of 1986. I am not exaggerating when I tell you I watched the movie 8 bajillion times after on either my VCR or DVD player. As someone who came of age in the 1980s, I was certainly part of the John Hughes generation and loved all of those movies including Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Some Kind of Wonderful. Ferris Bueller was definitely at the top of the list. In honor of the 30th anniversary, I sat down this weekend to watch it again after a long hiatus to see if it still held the same magic that captured my attention through my teenage years. I am happy to report that the magic of Ferris still exists so many years later. There are many reasons to love Ferris Bueller, but here are just a few.
- Ferris is cool. In the movie, Ferris is a senior in high school and when I first saw the movie, I was a few years younger which alone made Ferris cool. However, Ferris is still cool even 30 years later. It is true he is a little scheming and conniving, but he has a certain presence and most of his transgressions are pretty harmless. I think he is quite the debonair dresser as well.
- Ferris has amazing confidence. Ferris believes he can do anything and he convinces other people of the same. Ferris gets his best friend, Cameron to participate in his ditch day and take his dad’s prize Maserati for a joyride. He convinces the snooty maitre de at the restaurant that he is Abe Froman, “Sausage King of Chicago.” Ferris jumps on a float in the middle of a parade in downtown Chicago and entertains the crowd with his rendition of Danke Schoen and Twist and Shout. At one point in the movie, Cameron, and Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane are discussing what they are going to do after high school. While they do not know what they are going to do, they figure Ferris is going to “be a fry cook on Venus.” That type of confidence is amazing and while I will not be caught dead performing on any stage, having that type of confidence to convince someone that I am the Queen of the Best of Something, is definitely on my list of things to do.
- The city of Chicago is a wonderful part of the movie. As someone growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I loved that the movie was filmed in Chicago and the suburbs. It is always exciting when your hometown makes it to Hollywood, and Ferris made the city look so fun. At the time the movie came out, I was not allowed to go to the city on my own, but it was something my friends and I dreamt of doing. We thought it would be so fun to have a day just like Ferris and his friends. Of course, knowing what I know now, there is no way you could fit that much into one day. It is logistically impossible. They drove 30 miles to what was then the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) and enjoyed the Skydeck. Afterward, they viewed many masterpieces at the Art Institute of Chicago. Then, onto lunch probably on the Gold Coast, off to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and finally back to the Loop for a parade. After all that, they had to drive back home 30 miles to the North suburbs all before 3:30. Despite that, the City of Chicago looked beautiful and the landmarks recognizable to this native suburban Chicagoan.
- The dialogue is memorable and funny. My friends and I had a tendency to quote lines from the movie. How many times did someone say “Bueller..? Bueller..? Bueller…?” in Ben Stein’s monotone voice. Or the secretary describing Ferris to the vice principal who has it out for Ferris, “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.” When I watched the movie this past weekend I was still able to remember so much of the dialogue.
- Ferris Bueller is a believer in the present moment. The movie opens and closes with this quote “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.” When I first saw this movie (and the 8 bajillion times after), I don’t think I appreciated the significance of this sentiment. However, now I certainly do. Today is the beginning of June which means it is the beginning of summer. So as we start summer let’s remember to live like Ferris. Let’s soak up the long days of sunlight. Eat ice cream. Catch fireflies. Skip our chores for an hour of sitting on the porch. Play hooky from work. Laugh with our friends. Have barbecues. Read a book. Run through the sprinkler. Walk barefoot. Smell the freshly mown grass. Cut a bouquet from the garden. Sip a glass of chilled wine. Take a nap. Do nothing. Stop and really enjoy summer because if we don’t, before we know it, the summer will be gone. It starts now. –June