Cult Classic: Ferris Bueller's Day Off 8 years ago

Cult Classic: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off proves that a likeable movie protagonist can be forgiven for almost anything, including a sleeveless leopard-print cardigan.

Prior to his death in 2009, director, producer and screenwriter John Hughes left an incredible mark on the history of film, particularly coming-of-age 1980s classics such as The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Weird Science.

Granted, he lost his way slightly a decade later with the likes of Beethoven but his impact can never be overstated, particularly since teen-focused films were in their infancy at the beginning of the 1980s.

Considered by many to be the zenith of Hughes' career and teen comedies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a film that is so winning and so exuberant that it could put a smile on even the face of grumpiest critics. The sheer narrative thrust of the movie revolves around the world's greatest ever skipped day of school - who can't relate to that?

Back when the JOE team would go 'on the hop', such days primarily ended up as complete wastes of time, revolving around sitting in a friend's house while their parents are at work or walking into a local supermarket with a sense of fear that the vendor will phone your parents.

In Ferris' case - played by a fourth wall-breaking Matthew Broderick - a day off involves taking over a Chicago parade and driving a 1961 Ferrari GT California (the car featured in the film sold for over $10 million at an auction in 2008 - you didn't think it was actually destroyed in the film's wide shots, did you?) around town. Evidently he has higher standards.

Charlie Sheen plays a drug addict in one of his most easily believable roles ever

Ferris Bueller's Day Off works - even over 25 years later - purely because the events of the film are what happens when someone pursues happiness. It's such a fairly basic concept with a charismatic figure such as Ferris, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and it's a powerful message for its primary demographic to walk away with.

A crucial subplot involving Ferris' best friend Cameron (29-years-old at the time and portraying a 17-year-old) provides another vital message - that you shouldn't live in fear; of your parents, of expectations ... even if you have just ruined a beautiful vintage Ferrari.

If you haven't yet seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off, you have one hell of a treat in store. The scene in which Ferris leads a parade to the infectious tune of The Beatles' 'Twist and Shout' would be the scene of the year over any 12 months, yet for this film it's just one of many, many highlights over a breathless 103 minutes.

For more cult films, check out the Jameson Cult Film Club.