Ferris Bueller's Day Off

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" originally released in theaters June 11, 1986.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is arguably one of John Hughes’ greatest works. The 80s classic is the go to “sick day” watch in my family, but the movie is more than a sick day fantasy. It exemplifies the beauty of being a teenager. If Matthew Boderick’s Ferris Bueller were a child he would never be left home alone in the first place, but if he were an adult this whole thing would be immature. But he is a teenager — the perfect sweet spot between responsibility and independence. Here’s what I learned from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Confidence is key

Ferris Bueller’s greatest aspect is his extreme confidence. In Ferris’ opening monologue, he says a person should not believe in isms but believe in himself. He lives this piece of advice to the fullest. He not only believes in himself, but he believes he can truly do anything and get away with it. His confidence is instrumental in the day going as smoothly as it does without second guessing himself once. This film shows the power of confidence and believing in yourself.

Break the rules when necessary

Some of the world’s greatest works of art came from someone breaking the rules. Some rules ARE necessary to follow, but allow yourself to get caught up in an awesome day and break rules. Ferris is the ultimate rule breaker, but he does pretty well for himself. He gives himself the leeway of breaking rules when necessary.

Do not worry about anyone else

Ferris’ sister goes crazy all day trying to get Ferris in trouble. If she is willing to spend her energy holding a grudge against her brother for missing school, she might as well just join him. The principal spends all day torturing himself in order to “get” Ferris, but he never does. Obviously, it is the principal's job to make sure everything is in order, but the underlying message is to just do your own thing. Whether someone is skipping school is their problem. He will get expelled if necessary, but torturing yourself just to “get” someone is not worth it.

Learn to face your problems head-on

Throughout the day, Cameron is obviously in pain, but owes Ferris a bit of a thank you. Cameron is a product of his upbringing. His uptight father raised him in a house similar to a museum. In the end, his father’s most loved possession crashes. This gorgeous red Ferrari drives out of the garage through the glass window and lands 100 feet below in the forest. Obviously frightened, Cameron is scared to death of his father. This is where the film shifts. Cameron is no longer a child, but has gone through the teenage stage to come out stronger. In the end he is comfortable standing up to his father, which shows the growth Ferris has helped him undergo in comparison to the beginning of the film.  

Life moves pretty fast

The most notable quote in any 80s movie comes from this film. In the end, Ferris says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This is the inevitable moment at the end of a John Hughes film where you see the bigger picture. After being taken along on an adventurous ride, there is a bit of pang in your heart at the end. How many times have we missed out on the opportunity to seize the day like Ferris? Well, now is your chance. Go out and look around before life passes you by.

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