Archive for June, 2011
Is Ferris Bueller overrated?
In the end, Ferris’s parents still think their son, who seemingly learns no lessons and continues to get away with everything, is a fragile, sickly darling. Even his acerbic sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), who he barely acknowledges and who seemingly has every right to resent him, eventually gives in to her brother’s charm. It’s aggravating. It’s ridiculous. “Why should he get to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants?” Jeanie rightfully asks before the script forces her to cave. “Why should everything work out for him? What makes him so goddamn special? Screw him.”
First off, Ferris isn’t meant to be empathetic. He’s the jokester ideal, the buffoon, the Bugs Bunny. As some of the commenters pointed out, the viewer is meant to identify with Cameron, the Eeyore of a best friend, who can’t get out of bed because he can’t think of anything better to do. Ferris is the anti-Cameron. He does what we don’t think is possible, and he mocks those who try to stop them with humor and charm.
Second, the classic delivery of the production is the true star of the show. The breaking of the fourth wall, the running “Save Ferris” joke, the swinging jazz core … these are all the fine details that elevate the movie from being a mere enjoyable flick to one of the decade’s greatest masterpieces.
Those who consider “The Beakfast Club” to be Hughes’s signature piece are not acknowledging how poorly the film has aged, not to fresh audiences, but to those who saw the film in the ’80s as teenagers and have kids of their own.
Conversely, Ferris has not aged because he was never a kid to begin with. His mannerisms and worldview are those of a man with experience enough to know how silly and pretensions being a teenager can be. The production, then, follows this sentiment, and so the story remains fresh now as it did in 1986.