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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

By Patrick Samuel • August 24th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Paramount Pictures

Original release: June 11th, 1986
Running time: 103 minutes

Writer and director: John Hughes

Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen, Jeffrey Jones
Ferris Bueller's Day Off

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~ Ferris Bueller

I’ve never in my life done anything I didn’t want to do. It’s not so much a stubborn streak, or even a lazy one, Hell no. I work as hard as the next guy, providing that the next guy isn’t working too hard. It’s just like Ferris said, life moves pretty fast and I don’t want to miss it because I’m too busy doing something I don’t want to do. Especially if it’s time consuming or complicated… or just plain old lame.

The truth is, I never saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off while I was at school. Back then my folks were having a hard enough time trying to get me dressed in the mornings without having to deal with a film giving me any bright ideas. The thing is, those ideas were pretty much ingrained in me already. Like this one,

“The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you that a good phony fever is a dead lock, but, uh… you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor’s office. That’s worse than school. You fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.”

The Philosophy of Ferris Bueller must be something innate then, known and practised throughout the ages and that’s probably why it resonated so well when it was first released, and continues to, even today. It speaks to that part of us that wants to play hooky. It appeals to anyone who’s ever puked up last night’s dinner just to get out of gym class. It begs those who ever thought about forging a sick note to spend the day with their friends to do it.


It’s the classic story of a teenage boy who does exactly that. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) wakes up one spring morning and dupes his parents into believing he’s ill so he can stay off school for the day. He’s taken quite a few days off already and he knows he can’t get away with it for much longer so he’s determined to make this one count.

Although his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), is more than a little annoyed that their naïve parents have once again fallen for his tricks, she doesn’t let the cat out of the bag. Once they’re all out of the house, Ferris coerces his reluctant best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) into coming over. They call up the school and somehow manage to convince the Dean of Students, Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), to let Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), out of class.

With Ferris at the wheel of Cameron’s father’s precious 1961 Ferrari, the trio embark on a day out to take in some of the sights around town, including a Cubs game at Ferris Bueller's Day OffWrigley Field, the Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago and stopping for lunch at Chez Quis. However, the best part, for me at least, is when Ferris joins the Von Steuben Day Parade for an impromptu performance of Danke Schoen and Twist And Shout.

Taking his position on a parade float, Ferris looks like he’s having the time of his life while his two friends look on in disbelief. He perfectly sums up what we should be doing when we shouldn’t be doing it and even though there are several moments when the game is almost up, part of the thrill is the risk in getting caught. Believe me, I know this from experience… lots and lots of experience!

OK, so not everyone survives the day – the Ferrari meets an untimely but inevitable end but that part of the story is more about Cameron learning that he needs to stand up to his father. Ferris inadvertently gives him this perfect opportunity, but there’s also the fact that he gave them a wonderful, memorable day out that they would have otherwise spent bored out of their minds and running through the same routine as yesterday and as they would tomorrow.

That’s why, in my opinion, it never hurts to play a little hooky. It’s your life, it’s your time and it goes so fast. So why not stop and look around once in a while?

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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