TV Cream

Films: F is for...

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Save Ferris!” went the cry. And so we did. Yeah, it’s a little childish and stupid, but then so’s school. Actually, what makes this film work outside the US is probably the fact it’s largely set outside high school, thus avoiding many of the bewildering cliches of America’s largely alien education environment. Instead it’s Broderick vs. Jeffrey ‘Beetlejuice’ Jones through the streets of Chicago, relentlessly cracking wise as they go. And wise they certainly crack – you won’t find dialogue of this calibre in most “uh-DULT” films these days, never mind the witless, clammy-handed “teen” fare that clogs up the multiplexes during latter-day “spring breaks”, which makes us weep for the future. Plus you get Zapp, BAD, Dream Academy, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and, of course, Yello’s mighty Oh Yeah on soundtrack duties, which helps wrap it in its own evocative time capsule, abetted by the fact they wisely avoided a sequel (although a ’90s sitcom version with Charlie ‘Delinquents’ Schlatter and Jennifer Aniston thankfully bombed). Writing magnificently and directing with sacks of flair, it’s Hughes’ baby all the way, and though the rest of his canon we can mostly take or leave (especially the sentimental Breakfast Club), this still comes up as fresh as paint. You may baulk at the high placing, and granted, it’s definitely a film you have to buy into wholesale or sit there nonplussed throughout, but we’re not going to let the snot-nosed detractors leave our cheese out in the wind. We’re going to defend it. Right or wrong, we’re going to defend it.

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  1. Morgan

    August 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    It might have avoided the high school schlock but still alienates with all the high end, conspicuous, consumerism. His keyboard cost about two grand and that’s a mid eighties two grand! Our Renault family car cost about half that. Finally if he’s so smart why is he still going to school in his early twenties?

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