As the semester winds down and the weather warms up, we’re all wishing we could be anywhere other than class. Ferris Bueller has similar sentiments in the iconic film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Directed by John Hughes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off follows high school seniors Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), and Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) as they skip school to venture into Chicago for the day.
Taking his ninth “sick” day of the semester, Ferris is somewhat of an expert at faking sick. He uses a series of contraptions and ploys to prevent himself from getting caught, including a dummy of himself for his bed. He even manages to hack into the school’s computer to minimize his number of absences on record. Despite Ferris’ clever tactics to skip school, his sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) and the principal, Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), aren’t convinced. They both conspire separately to catch him in the act.
Ferris convinces his uptight friend Cameron and his girlfriend Sloane to join him on his day off. Together, the three friends have a fun day in the city, while the bumbling Mr. Rooney tries to reveal their plan. Throughout the movie, Ferris frequently breaks the fourth wall to inform the audience of his plans and thoughts, including the best way to fake sick. This adds to the comedy of the film, and contributes to the cunning quality of Ferris’ character.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off might be a fun, lighthearted film, but it also addresses some important themes. At the end of the day, as the friends head home from the city, they reflect on their lives and the lessons they learned that day. Ferris breaks the fourth wall in this moment to reflect on his plans after high school. Meanwhile, Cameron reflects on his strained relationship with his father and Sloane contemplates the day’s events. This moment provides more depth to the characters, as we see their relationships and ambitions in a new light. In the end, it turns out that the friends learn more about themselves on their adventurous day off than in class.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has a carpe diem vibe to it. Ferris’s philosophy embodies the message of movie: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”