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

Advertisements

The Breakfast Club – A film review by Daniel Prinn – For those of you who have nothing better to do on a Saturday.

The Breakfast Club

Release Date: February 15, 1985

Director: John Hughes

Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall

Runtime: 97 min

Tagline: Five strangers with nothing in common, except each other.

This is John Hughes at his absolute best.

Five high school students come together in a Saturday detention. They are all of different social statuses: there’s an athlete, a criminal, a princess, a brain, and a basket case. They all find out that they really do have more in common than they thought, especially for their hatred for their principal, Richard Vernon.

The characters are the most memorable aspect of the film. John Bender (Judd Nelson), the criminal, is just a wise-cracking bad boy who seems just to despise the world; Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez) is a nice guy with an overbearing father who just has a bit too much pressure on him; Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), the princess, is the virginal (or maybe not?) female who’s in for skipping class; Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), the brain, is the talkative smart guy who just needs to try in school so he can get into a good college; and Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) is the basket case who’s also a compulsive liar.

John Hughes just makes the best on-screen chemistry. It’s a film that has lots of laughs, lots of heart, and lots of cinema greatness.

The characters are really relatable, and the actors are well-casted to portray each stereotype. The film is both very emotional at some scenes and also quite feel-good in others, and Hughes knows very well how balance the two out, he really penned a defining teen film, here.

The only tainting factor that took away five points from my enjoyment is that one of the characters gave up their individuality by the end of it all, which sort of just really peeved me off.

You’ll just want to watch it again and again. It’s the best teen coming-of-age comedic drama of its time, and one of the greatest of all time.

95/100

Sixteen Candles – A short review by Daniel Prinn

Sixteen Candles

Release Date: May 4, 1984

Director: John Hughes

Stars: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Justin Henry

Runtime: 93 min

Tagline: 16 candles. And you’re invited to the party.

It isn’t a good John Hughes film. It’s a really good John Hughes film.

Samantha Baker is an average suburban girl, who just turned sixteen. With the whole chaos of her older sister’s wedding, no one in her family remembered her birthday. Samantha is also trying to get the attention of Jake Ryan, the alpha senior, who she doesn’t think she could ever get.

The character of Samantha shares the screen with other main characters, like Long Duk Dong, the prom queen, and The Geek (a.k.a. Farmer Ted) and his posse of nerds (played by Darren Harris and John Cusack).

Samantha Baker is a pretty good character, but not overly memorable, she is probably one of the least memorable of the ensemble. Long Duk Dong, the Chinese (or Japanese) foreign exchange student is the most memorable character, he’s just hilarious.

The film is greatly directed, and quite enjoyable. It’s another Hughes 80s comedy classic.

80/100

Film review: American Pie. The great comedy that launched a pretty decent teen comedy franchise in 1999.

Image

 American Pie

Release Date: July 9, 1999

Director: Paul Weitz

Stars: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan

Runtime: 95 min

Tagline: Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets pie.

 It’s a pretty funny coming of age comedy.

Four high school boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by the end of prom night. Jim is the main guy in the group, doing things like trying to get with a hot foreign girl Nadia, doing a nasty deed with an apple pie, and eventually finding something great in an unexpected girl. Oz is on the lacrosse team, and has his eye on the beautiful choir girl, Heather. Kevin has been dating Victoria for a while and hasn’t had the most luck in the department of pleasuring her and is focused solely on losing his virginity to her. Finch is the sophisticated nice guy who has an infamous love interest by the end of the film. And Stifler is the the immature and hilarious jerk friend, who is the funniest in the film.

The whole story seems a little shallow for a coming-of-age comedy film, but it really can be funny. It has a great bunch of funny and memorable scenes, and very memorable characters.

It’s a movie that can be watched many times, as it’s always funny, and the comedic tension between Finch and Stifler is always funny. Going to Band Camp would be a funny experience.

The film stars Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Shannon Elizabeth, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Chris Owen as The Shermanator, Jennifer Coolidge as Stifler’s Mom, and Eugene Levy as Jim’s Dad.

It’s a great start to a pretty awesome comedy franchise (with the exception of the pretty bad straight to DVD crap). It’s the best slice of Pie in the series.

             75/100

Review written on: August 9, 2012, by Daniel Prinn.