|11 Aug 2007 @ 10:47, by Enocia Joseph|
"Life moves pretty fast… If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -- : Ferris Beuller
There are some films I watch over and over again and still find joy in them: Ferris Beuller's Day Off is one such film. I watched it again on television last night and I love it.
Ferris Beuller is a teenager in his final year at school and about to graduate. He wakes up one morning and decides it's too beautiful a day to be in school so he tells his parents he's not feeling well and he would like to stay home. They leave him tucked up in bed.
While Ferris is supposed to be "recuperating" he asks his best friend, Cameron, to come out and play, but he says he's too sick to go out. Ferris persuades him to come out anyway. Next, Ferris has to get his girlfriend, Sloane, who is already at school, to skip school. They come up with a story that Sloane's grandmother has died and she needs to be excused from school for that day. Cameron, impersonating Sloane's father, calls the school and asks for his "daughter" to be excused.
Ferris persuades Cameron to borrows his father's Ferrari, his pride and joy, to pick up Sloane from school, then they head off into town. They leave the Ferrari in a parking lot and ask a young man to look after the car. The young man and his friend take the Ferrari on a driving spree and have a ball.
The rest of the film follows Ferris, Cameron and Sloane's adventure. They go to a baseball match, eat at a fancy restaurant, go up the Empire State building, Ferris performs at a street carnival, and they relax in a Jacuzzi.
In the meantime, the Dean at Ferris' school has his suspicion that Ferris is not sick but has taken the day off school just for the hell of it. He goes to Ferris' house but his visit doesn't go too well - he's attacked by the family dog.
Jeanie, Ferris' sister, has a feeling Ferris is not sick at all. Why should he get to bunk off school when she has to stay in school? Jeanie is determined to prove that Ferris is not the perfect son their parents think him to be. So she goes home and discovers the dummy Ferris has left in bed which proves Ferris has been lying all along. Jeanie hears someone in the house, who she thinks is Ferris. It turns out it is the Dean. Jean knocks him out and calls the police to report the "intruder." The police end up arresting her for making a "phoney call." At the police station, Jeanie meets a young boy (played by Charlie Sheen) and she tells him why she's been arrested:
I went home to confirm that the shithead was ditching school and a guy broke into the house and I called the cops and they picked me up for making a phoney phone call.
What do you care if your brother ditches school?
Jeanie stares at the boy.
Why should he get to ditch school when everybody else has to go?
You could ditch.
I'd get caught.
So, you're pissed at him because he ditches and doesn't get caught?
The boy nods knowingly.
Then your problem is you.
Excuse you. You oughta spend a little more time dealing with yourself and a little less time worrying about what your brother does. It's just an opinion. -- Ferris Beuller's Day Off Script
Ferris' day out with his friend has a tremendous impact on Cameron. In one scene Cameron is describing his frustration about living in fear of his father. He takes out his frustration on his dad's Ferrari and kicks it until he makes a dent on it. Then the car rolls away and falls into a ditch which kills the car, as Ferris describes it. Ferris offers to take the flack but Cameron decides it's time for him to stop living in fear and face his dad.
I believe the film really is about challenging what it means to be true to oneself.
Are you a Cameron who is scared of being who he is?
Are you a Jeanie trying to change others to fit your model of reality?
Are you a Ferris who dares to be himself?
The film also demonstrates how the Universe is constantly supporting us in our beliefs. Because Ferris believes he deserves to experience his joy, the Universe supports him every step of the way by providing him with friends to share his joy and events to get involved in. Even his sister ends up becoming his ally. When Ferris is caught red-handed by the Dean at his school, his sister bails him out. Ferris manages to get in bed seconds before his parents enter his bedroom to check up on him.
Ferris Beuller's Day Off is an excellent demonstration of daring to be true to yourself and well worth watching again and again and again and again...ad infinitum.
I am Ferris Beuller.
Related articles: There is Something Freeing About; Playing By Your Own Rules; I Would Rather Be Myself Than Convert Others; Support