Written by Maddy Penny
Artwork by Nikki Sztolc
In my humble and very unscholarly opinion, I would declare Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to be the most rewatchable movie of all time.
‘You’re not dying. You just can’t think of anything good to do.’
It was John Hughes who just about raised Gen X and, as a byproduct of that generation, I found myself having forced viewings of The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles just about every weekend as I grew into my teenagehood. My favourite of all time though, both of Hughes’ and just about any movie ever, would have to be his 1986 teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
For those who have not had the pleasure, this movie stars Matthew Broderick as the titular Ferris Bueller, your everyday teenage sociopath who drags his mentally unstable best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), and drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), on a wild ride around Chicago after skipping school. They do crazy and quirky teenage things, like go to a gallery, watch the stock market, and eat fine food. But, of course, there are two forms of antagonists in the film who take the shapes of the Dean of Students, Ed Rooney (Jeffery Jones), and Ferris’ sister, Jeanie Bueller (Jennifer Grey), who both will stop at nothing to uncover Ferris’ plot and expose him as a “no-good” kid.
In my humble and very unscholarly opinion, I would declare Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to be the most rewatchable movie of all time. It is a brilliantly impossible and bizarre, yet hilarious day-in-the-life film that always manages to draw me in for a rewatch… or ten. I mean, what other movie would have the balls to have a Charlie Sheen cameo where he went completely method for 5 minutes of screen time? Incredible.
So, I will be counting down from E to A, my top 5 picks for the most rewatchable scenes in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
E – Charlie Sheen’s Cameo
As mentioned earlier, this Sheen scene remains iconic. For context, when Jeanie arrives at a police station in the film she meets a young, smooth bad boy portrayed by Sheen. Apparently, the man didn’t sleep for days to “prepare for the role”. Alongside him, Grey does a marvellous job of acting the love-sick teenager who could do so much better than date the guy who looks like he eats nothing but cigarettes and monster energy drinks.
D – Cameron’s Existential Crisis
With The Dream Academy’s Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want playing in the background, I cannot begin to describe how weird and wonderful this scene is. In it, we watch Cameron stare deep into the soul of a painting on the trio’s trip to the art gallery. It’s all supposed to be a metaphor about how the closer you get the less you see, I’m sure… but it certainly makes me giggle.
C – The Phony Phone call to Ed Rooney
‘You’re an asshole!’
I probably know this interaction off by heart. When Ferris and Cameron attempt to wag school, they are first left to prank call Rooney disguised as their parents, leading to hilarious results. From Grace the secretary’s Dirty Harry comment to the cowboy zoom onto Rooney’s face when he first hears Ferris’ voice on line two completely dismantling his plan to catch the teenagers, this scene fully introduces us to just how invincible our title character truly is… and how gullible his opponent appears.
B – Abe Froman a.k.a. The Sausage King of Chicago
When Ferris looked straight at me through the camera lens and said, ‘you can never go too far’, I was officially hooked. The trio face off against a snooty waiter who is determined to remove them from his fancy restaurant until Ferris throws the name Abe Froman into the mix. Seriously, how insane do you have to be to lie to an angry French waiter (that looks like Neil Patrick Harris) just so you can crunch on some ice? Ferris Bueller… you are apparently insane.
A – Twist and Shout
‘He’s going to be a fry cook on Mars!’
This must be the most iconic scene in the entire movie! Ferris dances on top of a float, with the entirety of Chicago present, lip-syncing along to The Beatles’ Twist and Shout. As Sloane and Cameron have a conversation about what the hell Ferris will do after graduating, their loose canon of a friend sways wildly in a crowd alongside German backup dancers.
So, there you have it, a lovely stream of consciousness about my favourite movie of all time. The 80s got film right, and if you dodge the occasional flick that might not have aged as well as it could have, you too can delve into the world of some of the best fashion and soundtracks in cinema history. Take a leaf out of the book of Ferris: life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and watch some movies every while, you may miss all the good ones.
Wait, you’re still here? The review is over. Go home.
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