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Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

One mans struggle to take it easy

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 102 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


School is rubbish. I know it, you know it, and Ferris Bueller knows it. Which is why he's decided to fake out his folks with a pretend dose of sniffles, round-up his girlfriend and best bud, and get down to some serious truanting in the Chicago sun.

In the iconic role he'll never be able to entirely escape from (a bit like Henry Winkler with The Fonz), Matthew Broderick is the tricky teenager who's willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get out of spending the day cooped up in a stuffy classroom. 'How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?' he asks, in one of several chinwags directed straight at the camera. He's got a point: the summer sun's out in full force, there's a parade in town, and best pal Cameron (Alan Ruck) has grudging access to his dad's shiny red Ferrari. Nice one.

Back at school, Ferris has the unconditional support of classmates a-plenty, but the populat skiver has two natural enemies. One is sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), his highly-strung disapproving sister. The other is Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), the scene-stealing Dean of Students on a one-man mission to track down the absconding toerag and teach him a lesson once and for all.

Director John Hughes put himself firmly on the map as the King of the Teen Comedy with this one, long before the genre turned into the increasingly-tedious string of gross-out gags we have to put up with today. In fact, the '15' certificate handed to this one seems a little harsh by today's standards, given that there's very little swearing, no nudity and only one extremely mild – and comical – moment of violence. And that's of Mr Rooney getting kicked in the head, so doesn't really count.

It's Got: Alan Ruck at 30-years-old successfully pulling off his part as a school-skipping teenager.

It Needs: To be watched right through the end credits – you dont want to miss Ed Rooneys face as he gets on that school bus.

DVD Extras Audio commentary with John Hughes. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10


The definitive teen comedy, this is the one that sets the standard for all others in the pigeon-hole.