30 Years Later, We Still Believe We’re Ferris, but We’re Actually Cameron

Written by Jonah Swinson

The film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off recently had its thirtieth anniversary. If you look at the life of Ferris Bueller, he is probably going to be another local high school legend that peaks at the age of seventeen.

Ferris doesn’t take his schooling seriously, he has no plans for the future, and he acts on every impulse that he has regardless of the consequences. Cameron, on the other hand, is a much more accurate representation of society. He plays by the rules lives to everyone else’s expectations, and probably has a much brighter future than his best friend, but Cameron, like the viewers of the film, simply wants to be more like Ferris.

Why is it that the person who has the least promising future is the one who is more revered?

The problem is that both Cameron and the viewers of the film are stuck thinking solely about the future. If the person watching the movie thinks about anything besides what is happening at that particular moment, then they are missing the point of the movie entirely.

What makes Ferris’ life so different and so appreciated is his ability to live in the moment. From the very beginning of the film, Ferris encourages the viewer to stop every now and again simply to pay attention to all that is happening right now.

Cameron accurately points out the fact that Ferris is fearless. However, it is not that Ferris is not afraid of the consequences. It is simply the fact that he is not thinking far enough ahead to be weighed down by the possibility of the consequences.

When we watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it is not necessarily the fact that he got to miss a day of history class taught by Ben Stein, catch a foul ball at Wrigley Field, or lip sync a Beatles song in downtown Chicago that makes his life so interesting.

It is the way that he lives his life that has intrigued multiple generations of viewers. Unlike Cameron, Ferris is not concerned with what might happen in the future. His ability to live in the here and now is what makes him an icon.

While it is not always possible, it is important to take some time to enjoy the moment. Or, as Ferris memorably said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”


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