I was flicking through channels a few nights ago when I stumbled upon ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’. An old favourite, a John Hughes classic… I settled in for the ride and realised pretty quickly that something was… different. Peculiar. Odd.
Note: I’m about to examine the concept of ageing through a pop culture prism. Yes, it’s the way we examine everything else around here. Just know that you’ve been forewarned.
See, I know that FBDO is a movie that I’ve always enjoyed. I know this. But I’ve noticed, especially over the past few years, that as time goes by I find the character Ferris Bueller more and more insufferable with every viewing of the film.
He’s our hero! Everybody loves Ferris! The only people who don’t love Ferris are uptight dickwads, like his sister, who just needs to learn to relax (and embrace the love of a heroin addict, natch), and of course the evil Principal Ed Rooney (played by Jeffrey Jones, who was a) a ginger, and b) later became a registered juvenile sex offender – coincidence?). As Grace the school secretary tells us, Ferris is a righteous dude.
Except he’s not. He’s horrible! He’s completely selfish. Materialistic. Manipulative. Hedonistic. He’s an inch away from being a Sociopath really, an early incarnation of Gen-Y self-obsession (all he’s missing is the requisite iPhone, so that he could relentlessly document his day off on Twitter and Instagram).
Save Ferris? Fuck Ferris! Why won’t somebody save poor frigging Cameron!
Alright, so maybe I’m taking this too far. All I know is that I enjoy Matt Broderick’s mugging, smirking, ‘ain’t I somethin’ Ferris less and less with every viewing. And that, I think, is ALLLLLLL on me.
With every additional year I’m removed from my teens, I take one step farther away from Team Ferris. Am I now firmly planted in Team Jean/Shauna? Am I give or take 10 years or 2.5 kids away from being Team Mother f’n Rooney?
Am I getting too old for John Hughes?
You like to think that you’ll always be part of the Breakfast Club. But sooner or later maybe we all become Dick Vernon.
God I hope they’re not showing ‘Sixteen Candles’ anytime soon on TV… I don’t know that I could take it…