Re(focused)views: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

by Brian Eggert

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DIRECTOR:
John Hughes

CAST:
 Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey

RATED:
PG-13

RUNTIME:
103 min.


More than any other quotable line in Ferris Bueller's Day Off—more even than its bookend line “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”—the one that sticks the most is "You're not dying, you just can't think of anything good to do." After faking out his parents to stay home sick from school, Matthew Broderick’s Ferris Bueller calls his best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) because Ferris doesn’t have a car, and he tells Cameron, who’s sickly and depressive, to come pick him up. They argue about it. In bed and surrounded by pill bottles and tissues, Cameron hangs up and says to himself, “I’m dying.” Ferris knows his friend well, calls back and tells him that, by and large, his sickness is all in his head, and that he’s just bored. Out of sheer irritation, Cameron finally resolves to get up and chauffer Ferris. The line itself is significant because it summarizes the entire film, which is an escape into the big city less about Ferris Bueller skipping school than demonstrating for Cameron how to move beyond his troubling home environment and, for a change, truly live. 

John Hughes’ iconic 1986 film has been so consecrated into our pop-culture iconography that it’s easy to forget what a joyous, thoughtful celebration of life it happens to be. And what’s more, how accurately it depicts that crucial point in teendom when you realize that in order to live life the way you want to, you might have to break a few rules... Read the full article

 

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