You’ve got to love a film in which a character sings “Danke Schoen” in the shower. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic movie that definitely deserves its spot on this list, but the unexpected passing of John Hughes makes this the appropriate timing.
Matthew Broderick was so perfect for this movie. He had just the right combination of innocence and wise-ass charm that made the character believable. Well, mostly believable. No one could have quite the chutzpah he exhibited, but we enjoyed all his pranks on his incredible day.
First, he got his girlfriend Sloane out of school by having Cameron trick principal Ed Rooney into believing her grandmother had died. (“Just roll her old bones over here and I’ll dig up your daughter.”) Then he convinced a sniveling maitre d’ that he was Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago. Finally, Ferris lip synched the Beatles’ Twist and Shout aboard a float in the Von Steuben Day parade.
Probably the thing that made the movie most endearing, if that’s the right word, was that Ferris occasionally broke the rules and spoke directly to us. For example, when he explained how he feigned his illness to get out of school. “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… 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.”
This is the place where I’d normally talk about all the awards a movie won. Well, Ferris Bueller didn’t win any. What it won instead was a place in the pantheon of great coming-of-age stories. It’s one of those movies that, when it comes on TV, you have to watch at least till you see one of your favorite scenes. Like this one, the Twist and Shout video. Crank it up!
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