It has been a fairly lazy weekend for Erin and myself. We slept in, recovering from a fairly heavy week, and then we invited Dan over for dinner and some videos. The feature of the night was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a famous film of the 1980s, which everybody probably knows, but few have watched in recent years. Well, now that the eighties have gone from dated to “retro”, it’s time to give this movie another look. This is the film that made Matthew Broderick a star, and no wonder: the script is perfect, with a good mix of well timed comedy and pathos, and the direction (by underrated John Hughes) is positively inspired (especially the scenes in the Chicago Art Institute).
Matthew Broderick has good material to work with here, and he just eats it up. He is, however, upstaged by Alan Ruck, who plays Ferris’ best friend Cameron Frye. Cameron is an uptight, nervous young man living in the shadow of his father, and Alan Ruck almost makes the whole movie revolve around him. Together, Cameron and Ferris turn a simple movie about skipping school into a movie about breaking out of conformity and the expectations others have of you, and making your own rules in life. It is, however, Cameron who has the movie’s emotional climax, and its his character’s personal victory that makes the movie extra special — not to downplay the excellent performances by Ferris’ sister and the angry Principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones)
As the teaser to the feature, we rented the DVD of Schoolhouse Rock — yup, Conjunction Junction, What’s Your Function, let’s sing about nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives. There was even a song about the national debt (George Bush could use a listen). There was a creative flare here that you don’t see in a number of children’s educational television shows these days, and it’s a shame they don’t make these anymore. Even so, after about an hour, we did sort of get Schoolhoused out. I am, however, going to try and get a copy of the song Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla…
…Dan got an evil idea for his students upon watching Schoolhouse Rock, however. Yup: in three months time, expect his grade ten students to be singing songs about the Canadian Constitution, perhaps even the notwithstanding clause.
Hmm… (to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries) “Referen-dum! Referen-dum! ReferEN-dum! Neverendum!”