For my return to Movie Monday, I decided to select one of my all-time favorites- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The 1986 film was written and directed by none other than John Hughes, the mastermind behind other Chicago-based classics such as Home Alone, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Uncle Buck, and Pretty in Pink. Hughes claimed that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was his “love letter” to Chicago:
"I really wanted to capture as much of Chicago as I could. Not just in the architecture and landscape, but the spirit."
Hughes accomplished just that with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, creating a film that resonates with anyone who has ever experienced the glory of Chicagoland. He and his team managed to do proper justice to the beauty of Chicago’s many landmarks while capturing the contagious pride and energy shared between Chicagoans. He also managed to capture the essence of the city’s surrounding suburbs and painted a picture of growing up there; particularly, the allure of only being a short drive away from one of the world’s finest cities.
The film stars a young Matthew Broderick as laidback high school senior Ferris Bueller, a well-liked slacker with the charisma and quick wits to bullshit his way out of anything.
When I say anything, I mean pretty much anything.
The story is made possible by Ferris faking out his parents, played by Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward (who actually married each other after meeting on set), with an elaborate scheme to prove his sporadic illness. Really, the only illness Ferris came down with was a good ol’ case of senioritis.
With only a few weeks standing between Ferris and graduation, his fucks left to give were practically nonexistent. That being said, he had no doubts about adding yet another absence to his record. To make it count, Ferris recruited his best friend and girlfriend to tag along for an unforgettable day in the Windy City.
Or, let me rephrase. He for better or worse dragged his best friend and girlfriend along to the city.
Alan Ruck executed the role of Cameron Frye, Ferris’ paranoid, hypochondriac best friend of many years. The on-screen dynamic between Cameron and Ferris is flawless, closely imitating the dynamics of lifelong best friends in real life. Cameron’s sheepishness helps to balance out Ferris’ happy-go-lucky confidence, or, more bluntly, recklessness.
Aside from balance, Cameron brings something else to the table- his dad’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. After tireless convincing, Ferris was able to whip the iconic Rari for the day.