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97X’s Top 10 Movies: No. 10 “FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF”

We can all have a little fun, right?

When my kids were preteens, I thought it would be funny to show them a movie scene of a boy skipping school.

Hilarious. Their mom didn’t like that too much, me teaching our kids to be truant.

Eh, blocked at every angle by the No Fun Mom (just kidding). But still, I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t enjoy just the “thought” of not having to go through the drudgery of the Mililani school system. Believe me, the Mililani schools have been a good, quality place for them to learn. But, man, the hours and hours and hours and hours of homework they get, it’s just GOT TO BE mind-numbing.

So why not give them another view of the world, one in which you can go out and make your own things happen? Sure, learning about George Washing-Machine and Honest Abe and Dubya are important.

But how about real drama? Things like when our protagonist has to run home — through people’s backyards — in an attempt to get back to his sick bed before his mom arrives home from work.

There’s a great big world out there and … what was that famous line? We’ll get to it later.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — which piled up ZERO Academy Awards after it came out in 1986 — ranks as the No. 10 movie on Bedrock Sports Hawaii’s 97X Top 10 all-time list.

Ferris, Sloane and Cameron exploring the Art Institute of Chicago
with some friends they made along the way.

That’s saying a lot for a sophomoric romp, but the charm and youthfulness of it all will remain embedded in my memory forever.

Ferris had style and wit, if nothing else. Where he was headed in the future, we never find out. We think he might go to college, but when he talks to Cameron and Sloane about it near the end of the flick, we get the doomed feeling of whatever he’s going to be doing will never live up to the day off he just had. That’s called adulthood, to some.

Ahhh, but you’ve got to look around and see … what was that famous line again? Sure, like I said, we’ll get there later.

And probably everyone in the world has either a Cameron or a Ferris in their life, right? Ferris will do anything for fun and Cameron is reluctant to do anything at all. It’s Ferris who controls just about everything in the relationship, but it’s Cameron who gets Ferris’ goat near the end when he pretends to be in a catatonic state to put the worry into his friend before he smiles and says, so sarcastically, “Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.”

That is a great line, one of many. There is also the iconic “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller …” by the teacher taking attendance, and my personal favorite by Cameron at Wrigley Field: “Batter, batter, batter, batter, sa-wing batter.”

Of course that’s super funny because there they are at Wrigley Field watching a Cubs game when they should be at school paying attention and learning about life. And that’s the whole point of the movie: Ferris and friends learn about life by exploring it, not by sitting down and getting spoon-fed.

For instance, Ferris’s field trip also includes taking Cameron and Sloane to the Art Institute of Chicago and to the top floor of the Sears Tower to get a birds-eye view of the city.

Ferris, Sloane and Cameron looking out a Sears Tower window.

For lunch, they hit Chez Quis for fine French food and get into a bit of a tiff with the maitre d about whether they “belong” there or not. Just another essential life lesson, right?

And the bigger lesson is that in life, believe it or not, you can be who you want to be, even if that means pretending you are Abe Froman, the sausage king of Chicago, in order to get a table.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” would not quite be what it is without the parade scene, which to me, boils the whole essence of the movie into a few minutes. It’s where we, the audience, learn that sometimes your vision — however odd or out of place it may seem to others — can lead to the very top of the heap.

While somehow finding his way “in” to the head of a float in the Von Steuben Parade, microphone in hand, Ferris sings “Danke Schoen” and “Twist and Shout” while the jam-packed parade watchers go wild with delight.

Crazy, right?

I would do that, too, but only if I could sing well. Instead, I’m at the head of other well-orchestrated parades, including this well-oiled machine otherwise known as

Sloane, Cameron and Ferris in the 1961 Ferrari they stole from
Cameron’s dad to go on their amazing adventure.

Let it be known that if I wanted, I could make it easy for you and post a video of the parade scene, but I’d rather have you, the audience, actually watch the movie and then say, “Hey Nick, thanks for recommending that movie. I thought it was going to suck, but it’s great.”

Eh, that’s too much to ask, though, probably.

All of Ferris’ fun and games, really, boil down to how he set the tone early in the movie with that line I kept mentioning above. What is it now?

Oh yeah.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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  • Yah Nick,
    Great little bit of diversification from a guy who’s all sports, all the time.
    Looking forward to the next 9 entries of the list. Don’t put em out there to fast.
    Glad to see the 97X feature cropping up too.
    Maybe you’ll spread across to the top ten albums of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s for us old timers
    Don’t see any fields marked with an asterisk so I’ll fill them in anyway.

    • Great to hear from you J. Dog.
      Albums are a great idea!!
      And glad to hear you like the 97X features.

      There’s ALWAYS been a soft spot in my heart for guys like Ferris:

      Taking the Ferrari for a little spin — JNA.
      Pretending to be the Sausage King of Chicago — DMA.
      Leading a parade with gusto — NJA.

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