Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Released 1986

Review by: Fiji Mermaid

This film is about high school senior Ferris Bueller taking a day off school, just as the title implies. He devises a plan to fake out his parents by acting sick, which they readily believe. His sister, on the other hand, isn’t so easily tricked and is outraged he's allowed to stay home. He asks his friend Cameron to join him, but Cameron, who is actually sick is not easily convinced. After some prodding and pushing Cameron caves and agrees to pick up Ferris. Ferris' girlfriend, Sloan, is the next person he wants to recruit for his day off. Cameron calls the office and impersonates her father telling them there has been a death in the family. Meanwhile the principal of the school, Mr. Rooney finds out that Ferris is not at school and believes he is skipping. He calls Ferris’s mother to tell her this, but she doesn't believe him.

Ferris and Cameron plan to pick up Sloan, but Ferris doesn’t want to do it in Cameron's busted looking ride, so he uses his charm and pressure to get Cameron's dad's 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California as their ride to both pick up Sloan and then drive into downtown Chicago for some afternoon fun. They go to the school and Ferris dresses in a trench coat, glasses and fedora and beckons for Sloan, who is waiting with Mr. Rooney at the front of the school. Sloan hops in the car and they take off for downtown. They park the car in a paid garage, against Cameron's wishes. Rightfully so, because a minute after they leave the car two attendants take it out for a joy ride.

The trio starts out on their day of sightseeing, by going to the top of the Sears Tower. While sitting watching guys trade stocks at another location Ferris proposes to Sloan, but she declines, even though Ferris thinks it seems like a reasonable idea. They head to lunch at a fancy restaurant. Ferris scans the sign up book for seating for party of three and pretends to be Abe Froman "The sausage king of Chicago". The maitre d' doesn't believe them, but Ferris is able to trick the restaurant into thinking he's Abe Froman, by making a few sly phone calls. Why the real party of three never arrives has always bugged me, but I guess we are to believe they don't show up.

While out on the town, Mr. Rooney heads to Ferris' house to talk to him and quickly realizes he's not there, and that his assumption that he was faking the illness is correct. In some effort to prove his point he tries to break into the house. He's attacked by the family dog, but undeterred, he tries to get into the home again and runs into Ferris's sister who was also at the house trying to prove Ferris was lying. She gets freaked out and calls the police. They arrive later thinking she made a phony 911 call, and her mother has to leave work to pick her up at the police station.

Back in the city, motivated by Cameron's "I haven't seen anything good today" comment, Ferris jumps on a float going through downtown and beings singing and somehow gets the entire city dancing to the music. They decide to head back home and pick up the car. On the way home they see the mileage of the car is way beyond what it was when they left and realize that the attendants must have been driving the car. Cameron freaks out and goes into what they call a catatonic state. They head back and Ferris and Sloan go swimming while Cameron continues in his catatonic state until he falls into the pool. Ferris rushes to his aid, but Cameron comes to and laughs off the whole thing, sort of.

They head back to Cameron's house to drop off the Ferrari and it's Ferris' idea that jacking up the back end of the car and running it in reverse will take off the miles from the odometer. It's at this point Cameron goes into a rage about his father and starts kicking the car asking "who do you love? You love a car!". The pushes the car off the jack and it full speed reverses out of the garage, which happens to be made completely of glass and overlooks a deep ravine. The car is destroyed essentially, and Cameron seems to be OK with it and says goodbye to Ferris.

Ferris heads back home and drops off Sloan at her house. He then begins walking home and is almost hit by his mother's car with his sister at the wheel. They meet eyes and he begins a mad rush to get home before they do and she tries to get home before him to prove to her mom he was faking. Oddly once they arrive at home she seems fine with him faking and even helps him to get inside just in time for his parents to get to his room and see him still "sick". The film ends with Mr. Rooney taking a school bus back to school since he car was towed. He looks beat to hell from all his failed attempts at getting into the Bueller house.

This is a pretty classic 80s comedy by John Hughes, but I must admit as I write this, that as much fun as the movie is there are a number of cases where things just work out right or people believe and do ridiculous things that real world people wouldn't do. I'm not sure Ferris would have made it out of the house in the real world, but it is just a movie.


Theatrical Trailer


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