Rewatch: ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’
Today I’m in Somerset.
There’s a crisp blue sky. I’m not starting the thriller for a week. I’m going for lunch with friends. What could make the day more perfect? How about a song?
I rewatched ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ last night and it’s changed. Here’s how.
1. It’s very slow and a bit hammy. The takes are long but allow for actual acting, which is when actors get to emote without the camera cutting away every three seconds.
2. The great Jeffrey Jones is still the master of the slow burn. His incredibly drawn-out downfall at the very end is kicked into touch with the little girl’s line, ‘I bet you never smelled a real school bus before.’
3. Matthew Broderick is smarmy and a bit annoying now but is still great, and breaks the fourth wall a lot. But why on earth is the film rated 18?
4. Bueller’s girlfriend stares at him silently a lot because she doesn’t have much dialogue. So when she does, she makes it count.
5. Cameron’s stand strikes a serious note and still puts a lump in the throat. Oh, and that car…
6. It’s very theatrical. The arrangement of shots in the museum, the speeches to camera, the background action that belies what’s happening in the foreground. Those slow zooms and reaction shots aren’t how we do things now, and that’s a shame.
7. Eighties fashions! That wallpaper in the Bueller house! Mum’s shoulderpads! Charlie Sheen!
8.It’s a teensy bit racist. Twice a character says with exasperation ‘Do you speak English?’ to an employee. It was the eighties.
9. The dialogue is still priceless and quotable. ‘No little snot-nosed punk is going to leave my cheese out in the wind.’
10. And this. Which I’d forgotten comes after a rendering of ‘Dunkeschoen’…