Ferris Bueller's Day Off 1.0 stars

Ferris Bueller's Day Off movie poster
  • Rated PG-13 | 1 hour, 38 minutes

Writer-director John Hughes offers another piece of candy to teenagers, in hopes that they'll like him, maybe even (by now) appoint him an honorary lifetime member. A day of hooky is obviously a wide-open opportunity to prove the superior cunning, free-spiritedness, aliveness, and so forth, of youth over adults. And Hughes, for certain, is highly successful at showing the foolishness of fools — the haltingly stylized speech, for example, of a history teacher who keeps trying to get his students to complete his sentences for him ("Anyone? Anyone?"). He just doesn't know when to let up on that task. Where he is less successful is in showing the charm of his young charmers. Matthew Broderick, who cozies up to the audience by way of direct address to the camera, exudes smugness from start to finish. And Mia Sara, as his girlfriend, is a sort of aspiring Barbara Carrera — so exquisitely sensuous that she can hardly keep her eyelids up or her lips together. With Alan Ruck and Jeffrey Jones. 1986.

Duncan Shepherd

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