When you wake up in the morning, sometimes there’s a short moment when you consider skipping work or school to pull a Ferris Bueller. The 1986 John Hughes film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” screening at theaters in Farmingdale, Stony Brook and Holtsville on May 15 and May 18 for its 30th anniversary, forever burned into the public’s psyche the thrill of taking a fake sick day to go on an adventure.
“You idolized Ferris and wanted to be like him,” says attorney Allison Brecher, 45, of Dix Hills, who first saw the film with her friends at the old Syosset Triplex on Jericho Turnpike. “He’s all about seizing the day. Sometimes you wish that just once you could deviate from the rules and not get caught.”
In the film, Ferris, played by Matthew Broderick, skips school with his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and his nervous, pessimistic pal Cameron (Alan Ruck) to take in all that Chicago has to offer. Although the story is comedic, it also delivers a life message that people connect with.
Indie film producer-director Michael Arbouet, 45, of Hempstead learned a valuable lesson when he caught the flick at Roosevelt Field in the summer of ’86. “Ferris reminds you that if you don’t stop and appreciate life you may miss it, which holds so true because time just flies by. It’s important to take a break once in a while to unplug.”
AXED PLOT POINT
Actor Larry “Flash” Jenkins, who was born in Selden, played a parking attendant who takes a joy ride with a Ferrari that Ferris “borrowed” from Cameron’s dad and “safely” parked in his garage. His role was initially larger.
“Originally, there were two stories going on,” says Jenkins, 61. “Every time you saw Ferris doing an activity, they showed a scene of me and Richard Edson [the other parking attendant] in the Ferrari picking up girls, going to a restaurant, just a few blocks away, which made it so funny.”
Due to time constraints, those extra scenes of Jenkins and Edson landed on the cutting-room floor.
“At the screening, John called me and Richard over and said, ‘I’ve got some good news and some bad news,’ ” says Jenkins. “ ‘The bad news is I had to chop you guys down. The good news is, you are still in the film.’ ”
Jenkins will relive his “Ferris” fame on May 20-22 when he attends Ferris Fest (ferrisfest.com) in Chicago — a three-day immersive fan event organized by former New Yorker David Blanchard and his company Filmed Here. The event, which has been making headlines on CNN, the “Today” show and in Entertainment Weekly, is drawing people from all over the United States and the globe.
“This event was meticulously put together with love and passion for the film,” Blanchard says. “It’s in the spirit of Ferris, who is all about making something happen.”
Events include witnessing a full 360-degree recreation of Ferris’ bedroom, attending a Sherman High School Dance, taking pictures with a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder, visiting various filming locations around Chicago, seeing a screening of the film at the John and Nancy Hughes Theater in Lake Forest followed by a Q&A with actors from the film and re-enacting the parade scene in which Ferris sings The Beatles’ “Twist & Shout” atop a float in Chicago while people dance in the streets.
CONNECTING WITH CHARACTERS
One of the most endearing qualities of the film is the way people identify with the characters. Arbouet was drawn to Cameron.
“I was always afraid to do things. Once I saw the movie I started to experience life more,” Arbouet says. “When I met Alan Ruck in person at a convention, I thanked him. He couldn’t believe how many people still relate to the film.”
Part of what makes “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” such a classic is the way it still translates to the youth of today 30 years later.
“I recently showed it to my kids and they thought it was hysterical,” Brecher says. “They fully understood the concept of taking the ultimate sick day. I guess that’s something that never gets old.”