Thank You, Simone
May 2, 2021 2:39 PM   Subscribe

 
This is great, start to finish. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?
posted by chavenet at 2:43 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


The movie is a lie. Ferris Bueller really is a horrible human being, a smug, lying, manipulative sociopath, but it was the 80s, and that type of malignant narcissism still passed for charm back then, and then there's Ducky, the fake friend passive aggressive stalker, but that's another discussion.
posted by Beholder at 3:49 PM on May 2 [22 favorites]


I refer you to Cool Papa Bell's analysis as to what the movie is truly about.
posted by hippybear at 3:59 PM on May 2 [14 favorites]


I love learning that Mr. and Mrs. Bueller married in real life. :)
posted by metabaroque at 4:01 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Video is worth it for the guy who played the teacher.
posted by clawsoon at 4:01 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Was a little amazed that Jones was not persona non grata -- and this was filmed after his conviction.
posted by metabaroque at 4:05 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


this was filmed after his conviction

The actor who played Bueller had killed two people in a car accident in NI. The teacher was played by a former Nixon stooge. Seems like there were more than a few people involved in the film who were unpleasant in one way or another.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:29 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]


The movie is a lie. Ferris Bueller really is a horrible human being, a smug, lying, manipulative sociopath, but it was the 80s, and that type of malignant narcissism still passed for charm back then

I don't see the lie, or that it's so of the 80s (I mean, it is, but for different reasons). O Brother Where Art Thou is a fun movie about terrible people, so is Breathless, and the oeuvre of the Stooges. It's not called Ferris Bueller's Guide to an Ethical Way of Life.

Ferris is a trickster spirit like Loki, Anansi, Br'er Rabbit, the Cat in the Hat, or Bugs Bunny. He fucks shit up and gets away with it and we laugh. He's Cameron's manic pixie dream boy/fairy godbrother (fairies in old stories are usually a lot less benevolent than in Cinderella) or as Cool Papa Bell via hippybear suggest above, his Tyler Durden.

I'll watch the video now.
posted by rodlymight at 4:57 PM on May 2 [43 favorites]


I still sort of envy Ferris that Cabaret Voltaire poster.

(I also still love this movie)
posted by thivaia at 5:05 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Oh dear lord, that 80's hair on the director. And the sunglasses. So very, very period.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:42 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


There was also a reunion of most of the cast during the pandemic on Reunited Apart with Josh Gad.
posted by tclark at 5:47 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Yes, Ferris is an asshole. I previously described him as Eddie Haskell with rich parents. But the movie is a fantasy. The weirdest thing about the movie, is how seriously people seem to take it, then and now.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:47 PM on May 2 [8 favorites]


This was nice. A lot of the '80s movies intersected with my early teens and were quite appropriate at the time and a taste of possible for this child navigating a CPSD worthy life. Every little bit of "this is something else" was a good thing.

Yello - Oh Yeah (Official Video) was the only 45rpm single I ever bought. (How the ‘Oh Yeah’ Song in Ferris Bueller Came to Be)

I'm pretty sure FBDO has some influence (not all) in that when in the '90s my inherited car blew up and I went shopping...

I ended up with a little red two seater convertible of Italian design with Pirellis and impressive shocks. Such a fun car. Best go-kart ever!!!!!

It was a 1969 Fiat 850. That's right 0.850 liter engine. I put a 4-barrel on it. Still wouldn't top like 90 mph, but would take 30 mph corners at 60 mph and not even flinch. Plus you could push start it by yourself. FIAT does really mean "Fix it again Tony."

Now I'll have Oh, Yeah stuck in my head for the next few days.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:58 PM on May 2 [6 favorites]


Watches the video, it is a delight. And if you dislike Ben Stein as a person, his bit is a great self-own.
posted by rodlymight at 7:39 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


> Ferris is a trickster spirit like Loki, Anansi, Br'er Rabbit, the Cat in the Hat, or Bugs Bunny.

I used to love this movie, then as I started to figure out the narcissism running in my family (including myself), I started to subscribe to the "Ferris is a narcisistic asshole" point of view.

Now, with this comment, you've freed me to love this movie again, thanks!
posted by Tom-B at 8:40 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


And if you dislike Ben Stein as a person

Oh, I dislike Ben Stein for a lot of reasons besides his personality. He's a science-denying, misogynistic racist.
posted by Pendragon at 11:49 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]


Jeanie is really something - - she's like the wind. I always looked at her with hungry eyes and can honestly say that when I've been with her I've had the time of my life.
posted by fairmettle at 12:22 AM on May 3 [19 favorites]


Ferris is a trickster spirit like Loki, Anansi, Br'er Rabbit, the Cat in the Hat, or Bugs Bunny. He fucks shit up and gets away with it and we laugh. He's Cameron's manic pixie dream boy/fairy godbrother (fairies in old stories are usually a lot less benevolent than in Cinderella) or as Cool Papa Bell via hippybear suggest above, his Tyler Durden.

But Jean Ralphio from Parks and Recreation is all of those things too, but he's nowhere close to being a protagonist and a big part of one character's development is learning to grow up and stop listening to him.

Ferris Bueller is who Jean Ralphio sees when he looks in the mirror. In a just and fair world, Ferris Bueller grows up to become the guy who makes money by stepping in front of cars and is quickly convicted of counterfeiting Euros because he's "hella guilty".
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:31 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]


Edie McClurg is a goddamn national treasure.

Also, it was kind of odd that Mia Sara didn't take part in that Getting the Class Together piece. Anyone know the story on that?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:43 AM on May 3


Come to think of it, they should totally do a standalone Jean Ralphio movie that's just Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

It could even begin with the same fourth wall breaking instructional segment except that the advice Ralphio gives the audience is obviously bad and he's too self-absorbed to notice.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:53 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]


It was lovely to listen to the pair of female casting directors discuss their craft and reminisce about their work in a movie that characterized a time and era.
posted by amanda at 6:40 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


Ferris is a trickster spirit like Loki, Anansi, Br'er Rabbit, the Cat in the Hat, or Bugs Bunny. He fucks shit up and gets away with it and we laugh.

Besides what RonButNotStupid says above (true), there's also the matter that most of your cartoon tricksters pull their stunts to defeat other people/critters that are trying to kill them: Bugs, Tweety, Jerry, Road Runner vs. Elmer Fudd, Sylvester, Tom, and Wile E. Coyote, respectively. They're punching up. The Cat in the Hat fucks things up, but he fixes them before he leaves, leaving behind a couple of kids who may have been temporarily alarmed at him screwing things up but in the end were enriched by his visit. Anansi similarly punches up; arguably, so does Loki, although he's a more ambiguous character (in the myths, if not the MCU, he precipitates Ragnarok). But Ferris? He's a white cis male son of privilege, and his ostensible antagonist is a vice principal who is literally doing the job that Ferris' parents (and others) hired him to do, and who humiliates himself as much as Ferris does. Ferris doesn't buck the system; he is the system, the recipient of advantages that he's not even remotely conscious of. If his parents ever became aware of his truancy, they might impose a token punishment, but later his dad would chuckle and ruffle Ferris' hair and talk about his own teenage hijinks.

This is very much standard-issue John Hughes stuff; his "classic" 80s teen comedies are soaking in Hughes' own suburban Chicago privileged upbringing. Sixteen Candles had an egregiously offensive Asian caricature, because Hughes likely didn't know any Asian kids in his own school; The Breakfast Club had a (wildly improbable, for the Chicago 'burbs) working class kid who was like all the greasers from The Outsiders mashed together; and FBDO had this kid for whom simply going to Chicago and doing standard tourist stuff is like going to Oz, only the version of Oz where everyone is delighted that Dorothy has deigned to gift them with her limitless charisma. It's the fantasy of someone who is about to go out into the world for real, and wants to believe that everyone will love them. And a lot of teenagers do have that fantasy; I did, and had that corrected pretty quickly when I went to college. John Hughes was 36 when this movie came out, though, and even Molly Ringwald has had cause to reconsider his legacy.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:40 AM on May 3 [16 favorites]


This is very much standard-issue John Hughes stuff; his "classic" 80s teen comedies are soaking in Hughes' own suburban Chicago privileged upbringing.

This. Not to mention how John Hughes really ruined a generation of young boys (myself included) with how he portrayed how boys should look at and treat women. It took me over a decade to rid myself of his toxic influence and if I didn't I'd probably be on some incel board crying about how the world is against me.

I can't really watch his movies anymore because how the women are treated in them is so utterly fucked up. I know it's a product of its time but it's 2021 now and I feel like if it ever is shown to impressionable young people it should come with one of those warnings that say "THIS IS COMPLETELY FUCKED UP".
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:51 AM on May 3 [5 favorites]


Hm. As a Gen-X-er who loved John Hughes films growing up and as an X-er who has adored Ringwald's thoughts and ruminations on her own legacy as an adult, I think Hughes did better than a lot of directors at that time (AND SINCE!) about how he treated women. In that, at least he was centering some of their inner lives and voices. It struck me, watching that, that of course Mia Sara (staggeringly gorgeous) was 18 and considered "the same age" for the screen as these guys with way more movie experience. Alan Ruck was 29 but supposedly also boyish enough to be a high school student. But that is a long-standing problem with movies and of course it's a problem with John Hughes because he had/has the privilege to live that life unexamined. I won't give up the feelings of joy and laughter I had watching Jennifer Grey kick the shit out of the principal, of Molly Ringwald making her own dress, Annie Potts!, Ally Sheedy. On the other hand, reading some articles about what a Republican he was (in the Regan sense)....sigh. I'm not sure I'll be bringing his movies to my own daughter. There is better now.
posted by amanda at 7:34 AM on May 3 [6 favorites]


I should also note that I've seen the three Hughes movies that I mentioned more than once; I saw The Breakfast Club in the theater at least three times, at a time when I didn't have a lot of money for entertainment. I completely get their appeal. But I also recognize that my own privilege played a part in my being willing to overlook the more problematic parts, even those that I knew were bogus at the time (my high school had a substantial Asian population).
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:49 AM on May 3


his ostensible antagonist is a vice principal who is literally doing the job that Ferris' parents (and others) hired him to do

Neither the vice principal at my school nor the vice principal at my kids school is in charge of truancy, and I skipped school a few times and nobody ever broke into my house to prove I was lying. I also played sports and missed more than 9 full days of school just riding on the bus to play a few minutes of basketball or run track for literally 45 seconds.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:50 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]


I'm just happy that there's soundproof door between the parts of my brain dedicated to savage critique and the parts that can just enjoy stupid shit for once.
posted by klanawa at 9:20 AM on May 3 [9 favorites]


hands up if you watched FBDO as a youngster and noted the narcissistic elements, the depiction of '80s amorality, etc. you were a much more perceptive person than I.

some of us lesser lifeforms are creatures of our time, and though we gradually evolve to appreciate the folly of our youthful delights, if you'd spare us from the mental contortions of time travel to self-own our young selves because honestly it feels like child abuse on my previous self. I'm with klanawa: happy to enjoy stupid shit for once
posted by elkevelvet at 9:33 AM on May 3 [16 favorites]


Sixteen Candles had an egregiously offensive Asian caricature, because Hughes likely didn't know any Asian kids in his own school; The Breakfast Club had a (wildly improbable, for the Chicago 'burbs) working class kid who was like all the greasers from The Outsiders mashed together; and FBDO had this kid for whom simply going to Chicago and doing standard tourist stuff is like going to Oz

This rubs me a little bit the wrong way. I went to the high school that the last scene of The Breakfast Club was shot in - this was very much where I grew up. The second-largest demographic group in my high school was Korean American, there were absolutely kids from lower economic strata than the average (and they routinely got treated like shit by the system and their peers) and I went to the city and did tourist stuff twice, maybe three times in my life before I moved away and it absolutely was a huge exciting treat. Hughes's movies have a ton of problems that are absolutely representative of the cultural problems of that area, but they're not representative of the actual people in that area and it doesn't help to just accept his privileged narrative about it.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:30 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


some of us lesser lifeforms are creatures of our time, and though we gradually evolve to appreciate the folly of our youthful delights, if you'd spare us from the mental contortions of time travel to self-own our young selves because honestly it feels like child abuse on my previous self.

Not sure if you're aiming that at me specifically or at any criticism of it, but I did follow up my initial comment by noting that I very much enjoyed Hughes' movies at the time. (See also: How to be a fan of problematic things, previously on the blue.) And I'd strongly push back against labeling a reconsideration of a 35-year-old movie "child abuse" of any sort.

I went to the high school that the last scene of The Breakfast Club was shot in - this was very much where I grew up. The second-largest demographic group in my high school was Korean American, there were absolutely kids from lower economic strata than the average (and they routinely got treated like shit by the system and their peers) and I went to the city and did tourist stuff twice, maybe three times in my life before I moved away and it absolutely was a huge exciting treat.

Was that Maine North? Hughes lived in Northbrook and went to Glenbrook North, and I wonder if the suburbs in general or Northbrook in particular underwent much of a demographic shift in the two decades or so between when Hughes lived there (about the mid-sixties) and the mid-eighties. I probably should have said that Hughes wrote as if he didn't know any Asian or working-class students. (Speaking of demographic shifts, it never ceases to amaze me that Maine North was only a school for eleven years before the baby bust forced its closing.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:46 AM on May 3


Deerfield, actually (The Breakfast Club used a lot of shots from GBN but apparently Deerfield had a more picturesque football field.) Not sure about the demographic shifts, although you're right, it's entirely possible that Northbrook was much, much whiter overall in the 60s than it was in the 80s/90s.

And yeah, based on his movies, I suspect Hughes *didn't* know anyone outside his own demographic with any degree of intimacy. It was certainly possible! Which is why I bristle a bit at taking him at his word, because man, the status quo tries hard enough all on its own to pretend that only Some People exist.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:01 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


The parking lot attendant hasn't aged a fucking day
posted by dry white toast at 12:40 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


I don't think Ferris is any more of a narcissistic asshole than any other White cis-male American teenager. He's mostly going to succeed in life because society is built for people like him to succeed, and he's just conscious of that privilege and how to leverage it for his own benefit. He's likeable because he doesn't somehow resent his privilege or act like he's got it rough. He knows that, except for not having a car, he's the least hard-done-by person in the universe. Jeanne just got the car because Ferris already has enough going for him.

His basic message to Cameron is that he needs to wake up and realize that he's a White dude in America and can do whatever he wants.
posted by dry white toast at 12:53 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


I apologize for the very stupid and very offensive comment re: child abuse, that was poor. I am sorry.

The point stands, there are times people share an item, clearly they take some pleasure in (whatever) or feel it is worth sharing, and the at times detailed contributions as to why that thing is lacking, or problematic, or whatever, just seem unnecessary. Or how about begin a separate thread with that as the focus?
posted by elkevelvet at 1:11 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to remember all the various Shermer High School / Schermer, Illinois Cinematic Universe connections we used to dream up back in the day:
Jeanie Bueller and Ally Sheedy's character from Breakfast Club have the same therapist
Ferris's mom and Kevin's mom from Home Alone have competing realty agencies
Sloane's older brother is Jake from Sixteen Candles; her little brother is Wyatt from Wierd Science

I'm sorry everyone is so angry
posted by bartleby at 2:27 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]


I've touched bases with Mia Sara off and on over the years. She attended my yoga classes for awhile and went through teachers training at the center that I worked at. Over the past 2-3 years she has often come into the butcher shop that I work at.

All said, she was and is a lovely and genuine person. Seemingly unaffected :) While I haven't (and won't) IMDB her, by her personality it seems as if she has moved on from the industry and has her own life. Why she isn't in the gathering can be of many reasons. I would understand if she didn't want to have any part in it.
posted by goalyeehah at 2:39 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


Jeanie is really something - - she's like the wind
You trying to make me watch that yacht racing movie?
posted by bartleby at 3:02 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


^ well there's your universal human experience right there.
posted by elkevelvet at 3:48 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


hands up if you watched FBDO as a youngster and noted the narcissistic elements, the depiction of '80s amorality, etc.

Well at that time I couldn't put my finger on what exactly about it made me so... I guess not angry exactly, but I didn't enjoy the movie the way everyone I knew did. In fact I suspected it actually wasn't any good and everyone secretly knew it but pretended to love it because it was cool to do so. Truly baffling.

Now, older me can name what put me off, the narcissism, the flaunting of privilege and most of all the context that we were supposed to approve of that. But older me can also appreciate what people might have liked about it if you can, as other people have said, turn off your inner critic and just enjoy stupid shit for once.

I had a similar "there's something off about this and I'm not sure what" experience with Starship Troopers.
posted by ctmf at 4:13 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]


“Also, it was kind of odd that Mia Sara didn't take part in that Getting the Class Together piece. Anyone know the story on that?”

She was in the Josh Gad “Reunited Apart” video with the rest of the main cast that came out last June.
posted by 41swans at 8:41 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


I'm going to push back on the idea that people saying they were skeeved out by John Hughes movies back in the day must be lying. There were always cringey-at-best moments in every one. Weird Science was the most obvious to me at the time, followed closely by Sixteen Candles. I mainly hated FBDO because Ferris was an asshole and he wasn't portrayed as one.

The thing for me about all Hughes movies is watching now and seeing how many things I missed. I mean, when Pretty In Pink came out I was annoyed by the fake depiction of a poor kid ("what's with the custom paint job on the vintage Karmann Ghia?"), and now I can't even make it through the opening credits without wincing.
posted by queensissy at 9:14 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


Karmann Ghia price from Google.
Year Original Current
1969 $7,000 $11,550

You have a false idea of cars. None of them pass much past the 7k/11k range. Poor kid's parent/grandparent bought that thing during a mid-life crisis of wanting a little roadster.

My next door neighbor dropped out of HS at 16 and built street racers. New car every couple of months, rebuilt, new engine, fat tires, go race at K-Mart for title or sell for a 2/3k profit, buy another piece of junk. His father bought loads of bulk junk and did the flea-market every weekend (the other half of the garage).

You would be surprised at shit-poor people.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:42 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


7k/11k for a high school kid is insanely expensive, no? She wasn't a gearhead, her dad was not a little roadster type as written... I bought my first car in 1987 for $600 and remember how much working Karmann Ghias were going for at the time.

But let's go back to what I'm grossed out by now. Watch the opening credits. Nobody called John Hughes out for that at the time, did they? It's kind of amazing to me.
posted by queensissy at 11:56 AM on May 5


Weird Science was the most obvious to me at the time...

I was too young to pick up on that, but Aerosmith's Amazing video hit that same creepy vibe out of the park right about the time I finished high school. Yeech.
posted by klanawa at 12:53 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


Jeannie Bueller is my hero.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:44 PM on May 7


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