Is Ferris Bueller the Cat in the Hat?

>> Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Wendi and I watched Easy A last night, which was fun, and has lots of great 80s teen movie references, including quite a few Ferris Bueller refs. That prompted us to pull out Ferris Bueller's Day Off and watch it as a sort of teen-movie, multi-generational double-feature, and we had fun all over again. ("Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to play a little tune for you. I dedicate it to a man who doesn't think he's seen anything good today. Cameron Frye, this one's for you...")

The odd thing about rewatching Ferris Bueller for perhaps the thousandth time (a conservative estimate) is that this time, I saw it as Cameron's story, not Ferris'. Ferris is the fun one. He's the one for whom everything always works out. But most of us aren't Ferris Bueller, no matter how much we want to be. We're more like Cameron Frye. We're nervous, we're scared, we're tentative about life. And it's Cameron who changes by the end of the movie, not Ferris. Cameron's the character who grows and changes. We love Ferris for not growing and changing, much as we love Peter Pan for the same reasons, but none of can ever really be Peter Pan, either.

In fact, as I watched the film, I couldn't help comparing Ferris to another character who shows up in some nervous and tentative characters' lives and mixes things up for one crazy day:
The Cat in the Hat, who promised two children they would have some "fun that is funny." I can't think of a better way to describe Ferris and his day off. Of course, when the Cat in the Hat leaves, everything is put back exactly the way it was when he arrived, and in Ferris Bueller's Day Off...well, if you've seen it, you know what isn't exactly the same as it was in the beginning of the movie. (I can't believe I'm even being careful about spoilers here. Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie, go out and rent it RIGHT NOW.)

So, is Ferris Bueller the Cat in the Hat? Discuss amongst yourselves...

3 comments:

Flaming Nora February 8, 2011 at 8:41 AM  

Wow just found your blog, this post has made me laugh in to my soup this lunch time! Oh he is so the cat in the hat. I love that film and am going to have to watch it again vey soon. Brilliant! can't wait till I have more time and can explore your site a bit more.

Michelle May 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM  

Actually, after just having read "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," your post inspires me to parallel Ferris Bueller with Randle P. McMurphy (without the labotomy or smothering, mind you) as well as Cameron Fry with Chief Bromden. McMurphy is not the pivotal character at all. It's Bromden! And wait a minute, maybe "Finding Nemo" should REALLY be called "Finding Marlin," and. . .

:)

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