As you may be aware, today is Ferris Bueller Day, the celebration of the day, some 27 years ago, that the fictional Chicago teen of Ferris Bueller's Day Off cut school and went out on the town. In that spirit, let's discuss the movie. Is it an essential classic or not?
Jen Doll: In 1986, this movie came out that sort of defined me. Along with The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, this high-school based flick reminded me that despite all the drudgery of getting up at 7 a.m. and heading off to the drab hallways of my small-town school, day after day after day; sitting in math class, learning the periodic tables, writing essays in English, saying "here" when our names were called, we kids had special, latent powers, too. We were smarter, and faster, and more quick-witted than our curmudgeonly elders. And that meant we could put one over on the boring old stupid adults if and when we wanted or needed to.
High school—or in my case when this movie was popular, middle school—was a drag, man, but there was fun to be had there, and outside of it, in any case. Maybe we couldn't all be as witty or funny or mischievous or free-spirited as Ferris—nor as wonderfully melancholic as Cameron, who may have singlehandedly spawned a new form of hipster ennui—but we could at least fake being sick on a warm early summer day, if we wanted to. We could at least ride around in our cars, borrowed from our parents—even if they were just Chrysler New Yorkers instead convertible 1961 Ferrari 250 GTs. And we could, in rare cases, escape, our best friends in tow, from all of the drudgery and think about and plan for what the next phase in our life would bring, because we were all on the verge of something bigger, something new, whether we lived in the suburbs of Chicago or somewhere else entirely. Wherever, whoever we were: There were adventures to be had.