If you look at the lukewarm reviews from 1986, you'll see that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has slowly risen to classic status over the past two decades. And deservedly so.
What stands out in my theater-viewing memory is how much my classmate John liked it, grinning with anticipation throughout the movie. Come to think of it, he also did that during The Thing (1982).
I didn’t actually see The Thing with John. But we did once watch Firefox (1982) at his grandparents’ house. On a laserdisc player. With a laser.
Some things you should know:
Fact! The couple playing Ferris’s parents met during filming, dated, and eventually married.
Fact! Matthew Broderick started dating Jennifer Grey, his movie sister, during filming.
Fact! I listened to the John Hughes DVD commentary.
So ... did Ferris Bueller inspire you to skip school?
He didn’t have that effect on me. Mainly because living in a town that you could circumnavigate in 9 minutes didn’t afford many opportunities for memorable truancy.
Seriously, If I had skipped school with one of my geeky friends (take your pick) along with my uber-hot girlfriend (epic work of fiction), what would I have done, anyway?
Here are a few ideas:
Comparing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to Tim Vanderburg’s Day Off
A smooth elevator ride to the skydeck of The Sears Tower
A rickety ladder climb to the top of a water tower
A bird’s eye perspective of the Chicago Stock Exchange
A steer butt's view of a livestock auction
An intimate surveying of Georges-Pierre Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute of Chicago
A reading of the graffiti at Lake Rita Blanca spillway
Fine dining at the exquisite French restaurant, Che Quis
The drive-thru at Hardee’s
A Cubs game (with a foul ball caught!) at Wrigley Field
Nearly getting caught by Spanish teacher, Mrs. Field
Singing “Twist and Shout” to hundreds of spectators, like a king, from atop a parade float
Humming “Don't Worry, Be Happy” to four spectators at Dairy Queen, through the straw of a root beer float
Still, I probably should’ve tried all of these things at least once. I mean, there's not even a Hardee's there anymore.