Study Guide

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Foolishness and Folly

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Foolishness and Folly

Let's be real: The adults in this movie are chumps. Ferris and Jeanie's parents, Rooney, Grace, the Chez Quis maître d'—they're all just dimwitted speed bumps on Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane's road to fun and freedom. The kids have taken over, and that's why Rooney is obsessed with bringing Ferris down: Rooney foolishly thinks that if he succeeds, he can put the adults back in power, in positions of real authority. Ha.

Meanwhile, between the droning, clueless teachers and staff, as well as the numerous bored students we see, school is portrayed as utterly useless. Ditto for parents. Cameron's absent folks foolishly ignore their child, and Mr. and Mrs. Bueller are loving to the point of obliviousness. In the world of Ferris Bueller Day's Off, the kids may not be completely all right, but at least they're not morons like the adults.

Questions About Foolishness and Folly

  1. In her original New York Times review of the movie, Nina Darnton compares Rooney to a cartoon character. What do you think she means?
  2. Is Rooney a sympathetic character? Why or why not?
  3. Writer-director John Hughes has been accused of creating one-dimensional adult characters in several of his teen-centric movies, including Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Sticking just to Bueller, is that a problem?
  4. When Mr. Bueller suggests to Mrs. Bueller that they shoot Jeanie, he's kidding, right?

Chew on This

If the administration weren't so dim-witted, Ferris wouldn't have had to take a day off from school in the first place.

Tom and Katie Bueller love their children, but they don't understand either of them. At all.

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