Plot: What’s it about?
Ferris (Matthew Broderick) decides he needs a day off. He fakes illness, and is a pro at it, and then recruits his best friend (Alan Ruck) to help him spring his girlfriend from school, and seize the day. But not everyone wants Ferris to enjoy this free day, including his bitchy older sister and his dorky principal, Ed Rooney. Rooney takes it personally, and makes his mission to catch Ferris in the act of cutting class. Ferris’ sister is upset because she could never miss school, even if she really was sick, but Ferris has missed 9 times. Nine times. The other students and the rest of the community however, rally behind Ferris, and wish him a speedy recovery. Word of Ferris’ sickness reaches far and wide, as even the newspapers wish him well. The kids at school collect money for Ferris’ organ transplant, and everyone gets in on the act somehow. Ferris and his buddies spend the day in downtown Chicago, visiting all the sites, and having a great time. Several close-calls happen though, as Ferris frequents the same eatery as his father at lunch time, and in a cab ride ends up right next to him. After the day is done, Ferris returns, and has a race against time to beat his sister, his parents, and Rooney to get back in bed before his parents notice he was ever gone.
This movie is a 80’s teen flick classic. It seems as though everyone has seen it, and remembers lines and scenes from it. Written and directed by John Hughes, this movie is packed with teen humor and hilarious situations. For reference, other Hughes films include Uncle Buck, Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club. Those are only a few titles Hughes was a part of, and it seems if someone enjoys one of them, they usually enjoy many of them. Ferris has the same feel to it as Hughes’ other pictures, and it brings the characters into scope, as if Uncle Buck’s niece goes to the same high school as Ferris. This particular production has a ton of experiences in it we can all relate to, back in our high school days. Ferris is a very cocky, outspoken character, but by the end, we see his vulnerability in dealing with his friends.
The film’s real appeal comes in it’s ability to allow us to insert ourselves into the situations it contains. We all knew an anal retentive guy like Ferris’ best friend, and we all knew the subtle, smaller role characters as well. Everyone has those days when they want to stay home, but few take the steps Ferris does in making the most of those days. While the movie is fun and entertaining, it is very contrived, and has some unbelievable plot holes. This withstanding, the movie is a classic, and deserves at least a chance. So next you get the desire to skip work/school, take the day off with Ferris, and you’ll laugh all afternoon.
Video: How does it look?
This a great print, by far the best yet. I never saw the laserdisc, but even the newly re-released VHS copy was very grainy and some noticeable print damage. The DVD is nearly flawless, with only a couple scenes resembling the old VHS counterpart. The colors are nice, and the architecture of Chicago comes through beautifully.
Audio: How does it sound?
Very good as well. The movie doesn’t have a lot of effects, but does have a very integrated soundtrack. Each song seems to fit the scene very well. The dialogue is easily audible, even during the loudest musical acts.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A director’s commentary by John Hughes. Fantastic addition, and something I had been waiting to hear. But aside from the very interesting ramblings of Hughes, nothing else. Not even a trailer. But big props for the commentary nonetheless.