I think one of the main reasons why “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has become such a classic, even thirty years later, is that Ferris Bueller is that character we wish we could be. Many of us have always dreamed of ignoring life’s responsibilities and obligations if only for one day, and Ferris has the guts to act on his desire. This is a guy who is working hard against becoming just another doting workaday suburbanite like his parents. And somewhere down the road, he might even become his best friend Cameron, a guy ruled by his fear and insecurity.
But for one day, Ferris is able to shed all sense of security and dare to defy most expectations. Time and time again Ferris Bueller and his friends find themselves on the verge of being busted and royally destroying their chance of graduating from high school, but lo and behold Ferris’ own sense of cunning is what saves the day, rather than ruins it. Under his friend Cameron’s rule, the “Day Off” may have proven to last only a few hours, at best. Ferris Bueller is more of young man working overtime to delay the inevitable, and he has to storm the gates and celebrate life for one instance before he has to get back to building a future he might not even fully love when all is said and done.
Matthew Broderick is charming and enthusiastic as titular Ferris Bueller who is so set against breaking conventions, that he even destroys the fourth wall and addresses his audience time and time again. This personal connection allows us a chance to delve in to Ferris’ own sense of purpose, rather than risk viewing him as merely a slacker without fear of repercussions. Ferris Bueller becomes the envy of everyone around him, even his bigger sister Jeanie, who spends most of the film doing everything in her power to ensure Ferris is caught in the act.
By the climax it becomes apparent that deep down she, and about everyone else who works against him, admire what he accomplishes, and perhaps even envy him in some way. John Hughes’ film hasn’t lost its luster since its initial release, as it still conveys a very universal desire to live life to the fullest, and cast aside all sense of danger for a moment. Filled with endless quotable moments, laugh out loud comedy, and brilliant turns by a collective cast of eighties mainstays, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is that eighties gem that still shines from beginning to end.