Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – A film review by Daniel Prinn – A great John Hughes teen comedy

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Release Date: June 11, 1986

Director: John Hughes

Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara

Runtime: 103 min

Tagline: While the rest of us were just thinking about it…Ferris borrowed a Ferrari and did it…all in a day.

 

 How many of you guys felt you really needed a day off from school, or work, this week? Ferris is just one of those people.

Ferris Bueller is a wise-talking high school senior, who the student body thinks is just this one “righteous dude.” Bueller’s a guy who really knows the value of a day off. After making his parents believe he was sick, Bueller gathers his constantly nervous friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck); and his younger girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara) for a day out on the downtown Chicago area, whilst ditching school. With the access to a ricked red Ferrari that belongs to Cameron’s father, they have the whole day ahead of them, despite the situations and comedic antics they get themselves into. All the while, both Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) and Ferris’ sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) are both determined to catch Ferris for ditching class and to expose him for the not-so-sick boy everyone thinks he is.

John Hughes penned this great script in just six days; but it can’t get any better. The elements of comedy and some drama are blended very well, and it has many great scenes.

The characters are great here and there are some great scenes of characters finding their place in the world, having changes of heart and learning how to take a stand.

The characters are all easily relatable (and well-cast), despite some of them having some annoying aspects to them. Jeanie in specific, but she’s just having a hard time because she feels like an outcast and all of the attention is always on Ferris; so she’s easily excusable because everyone may feel overlooked from time to time. Ferris is relatable because everyone tends to have a rebellious side to them, and he just really knows how to have a good time. Cameron for me is quite relatable because I also tend to be constantly nervous and worrying, and Cam is one of the funniest characters in the flick, and is played very well by Alan Ruck. Sloane and Rooney are probably the least relatable, but they are quite funny and are good characters. I only wish Rooney’s secretary, Grace, was in the film more – she was absolutely hilarious.

The flaws of the film are limited because there’s an even share of laughs and some drama, and it is all quite well-paced. The only flaw I can think of is sometimes it gets really ridiculous, and the [Ferris’] parents are just so stupid. Also, the antagonists here are quite a few, but don’t make the film completely crowded – Rooney’s the obvious one, Jeanie’s cries for attention and need to bust her brother (that’s so Candice on Phineas and Ferb), and the danger of Ferris and co. running into his parents, but what’s a film without a little danger and risk? Cameron’s skepticism and nerves often can be annoying, but he’s good to provoke more conflict that way.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off stars Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett, Lyman Ward, Edie McClurg, with Ben Stein (“Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…”) and Charlie Sheen.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off offers a memorable story and many memorable characters, scenes, musical numbers, and a great feel-good experience that you want to experience over and over. John Hughes is the only one who can create such great chemistry between this ensemble. There’s big laughs to be had and messages to be cherished, F.B.D.O. is Hughes entertainment at a fantastic peak. It’s really just a must-see for anyone, a great and entertaining [Hughes] teen comedy.

 90/100

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Tower Heist – A film review by Daniel Prinn – A sort of poor comedy but a decent crime film.

Tower Heist

Release Date: November 4, 2011

Director: Brett Ratner

Stars: Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck

Runtime: 104 min

Tagline: Ordinary guys. An extraordinary robbery.

Unfortunately, [Tower Heist] is a bit too average and not as funny as one should expect.

After a group of hotel employees find out they have fallen victims to a very rich man’s Ponzi scheme, Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) gathers a criminal, a hotel guest and former employees to get back at this man. They conspire to rob the man of all of the money he has stolen, which is in the penthouse suite of his very tall hotel. What a very straightforward title.

It’s just very average comedy schlock, if you can call it comedy because I can hardly remember laughing-out-loud at any jokes that were told, nor can I remember which jokes were told. I may have chuckled quite a bit though. If you think of it as more of a crime film with comedic elements, maybe you’ll like it more.

Also, it’s supposed to be a comedy with action and crime; I see the crime here, but the action sequences are a smidge boring and predictable. You want to root for the guys to get the job done and get their money back, but it really isn’t anything that has to be seen. The characters are generally likeable, well except for Shaw of course.

The film has a really nice ensemble cast, and the plot’s decent but there could have been more laughs. The film starts off okay, but the pacing is off and it takes way  too long to actually get to the heist.

The film stars some great drama/comedy actors like Casey Affleck and Gabourey Sidibe from Precious, and also Alan Alda, and good comedy actors like Ben Stiller, Michael Peňa and Téa Leoni, to great comedic presences like early Eddie Murphy and Matthew Broderick.

Still, it’s nothing I overly regret seeing but nothing I’d really run back to soon. But generally, it’s a comedy that most teenagers will enjoy (and I did on a moderate level) but it could have been much better.

63/100