‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’
While the silver screen can whisk us away to exotic locales, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” reminds us that life’s most exciting adventures often await right down the road — particularly if there’s a little hooky involved.
In the 1986 comedy, Ferris (Matthew Broderick) and his two friends cut class at their suburban Chicago high school for an impromptu field trip to the big city. Director John Hughes, a Windy City native, leads us on a whirlwind romp of his hometown, from the frenzy of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to the serenity of the Art Institute of Chicago, where we’re given a virtual tour of the works of masters such as Picasso, Hopper, and Matisse that’s worthy of a PBS travelogue. Ferris and his friends see Chicago from top — the observation deck of the Sears Tower (then) — to bottom — the raucous German-American Von Steuben Parade through the city streets. And what would a “sick day” in Chicago be without soaking in the sunshine and catching the Cubs at Wrigley Field?
Ferris is a muse reminding us that it’s not the distance of the trip that makes travel so enriching, but the break it offers from the monotony of daily life. --Christopher Klein