It’s the rare film that charms both Kurt Cobain and Dan Quayle, but like Ferris Bueller himself — who was popular with sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, and d—heads alike — director John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off appealed to just about everyone. ”I don’t know if there’s ever been a happier movie,” says Ben Stein, who plays Bueller’s droning teacher. ”It’s a movie that you cannot watch without feeling really, really great.”
Twenty years later, Ferris is still a righteous dude. Matthew Broderick, who lately is better known as the anti-Ferris — The Producers’ Leo Bloom — instilled a potentially obnoxious character with the perfect mix of sweetness and chutzpah. At the time, Broderick, fresh from performing in Biloxi Blues on Broadway, was concerned about repeating himself. ”It was another character who talked to the audience,” the actor says on the Sausage King-worthy retrospective ”Getting the Class Together.” ”I thought, Oh, wow, is this going to be what I do now?”
Broderick eventually branched out, of course, while Stein built a career on ”Bueller?…Bueller?… Bueller?” In the earnestly philosophical ”World According to Ben Stein,” one of five bonus docs, the Yale Law grad and former White House staffer compares Ferris to Jesus Christ and gushes, ”Ferris is who I want to be when I grow up.” And in ”The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” he refers to Hughes as an ”extraordinary genius.”
Sadly, said genius is AWOL here. The teen-movie maestro, who hasn’t been behind the camera in 15 years, appears only in dated (check the mullet) footage, and his commentary from the 1999 DVD is missing too. Hughes?… Hughes?…Hughes?