I wish that I was Ferris Bueller. Not Matthew Broderick. Just Ferris Bueller. I wouldn’t want to be the guy who turned down Walter White, had anything to do with Godzilla or still claims that Sex & The City 2 is a good film. In fact, it takes quite a lot of effort to ensure that you can be the lead in Inspector Gadget but it still won’t be one of the worst things that you’ve starred in. Is that harsh? I like Matthew Broderick a lot, he’s a very talented actor, however, I do believe that he suffers from an extreme case of Nicholas Cage-syndrome; a performer with a great screen presence who has made some inexplicably poor choices, yet when he gets it right, boy does he get it right. His performance in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off simply soars.
Ferris Bueller is ace though isn’t he? In those 102 minutes on screen not only did he lay down the blueprint for everything that Zach Morris wished he could become, but he also taught us some wonderful life lessons, which I’m sure that we’re all prone to forgetting from time to time.
It’s a hot July morning, the sun is beaming down upon the city and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. The birds are in full song and they’re just enticing you to join them. Who are you to deny the world your participation in such a glorious day? Nobody, that’s who, so go and embrace it. Now perhaps that wasn’t the best advice to give a younger relative, but I’m a sucker for an 80s movie homage and especially when that involves attempting to live out the narrative in the closest way possible to one of cinemas slickest rebels. My younger cousin fakes a stomach cramp, bends over moaning and wailing before licking his palms, his parents (my dear close relatives) are obviously concerned and therefore think it best for Liam to stay off school and recuperate at home. They depart for work and leave him to sleep it off. Time to play! Don’t think of me as an irresponsible family member; it could’ve been so much worse, just be glad that I’m not a giant Stallone fan, otherwise the risks would have been much higher.
I encouraged Liam to break free from the shackles of society, or in this case, General Studies, along with two of his pals. Once they have deceived their personal tutor via a wonderful series of impression based phone calls which Alistair McGowan would have been proud of, it’s off to the big city. Now I know that Ferris goes on a series of jaunts across Chicago, but even with the now defunct Concorde as our own private jet, that still would have been pushing it, so Liam is more than happy to have Liverpool as the surrogate.
Of course I wasn’t going to join the trio on their triumphant day of truant exploration, I merely fanned the flames. Yet I encouraged them to browse the numerous art spaces on offer, take in the local scenery, perhaps head down to the docks, grab themselves a fancy meal, the opportunities really are endless. The youths of today are prepared to face any situation regarding the dodging of parents through a multitude of distractions and traps, so I’m sure that Liam will have embraced his inner-Bueller in triumphant fashion. I’ll hopefully be able to follow his story on Snapchat or something later on. That’s a thing teen’s use today isn’t it?
Whatever happens, I still think that it’s vital that we pass on our wisdom to the next generation, consider it an evolution of the spirit and mind. It just so happens that a big chunk of my wisdom comes from the John Hughes/Ferris Bueller combination. I’m sure whatever the outcome of his day of fun, my little 'cus will be fine. Afterall, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is showing at FACT on Monday 20 July. Book your tickets here.