Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Days of Favorites: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

The story of Love &Squalor begins many years before the fateful meeting of Wilde.Dash and M, long before the almost nightly movie marathons on uncomfortable and rank smelling dorm furniture and Sound of Music sing-a-longs. From the mid 80’s on, unaware of each others’ presence, M and Wilde.Dash were bonding with family, not over board games or a large family meal (ok, there was a lot of that too), but over the likes of Woody Allen and Walter Pidgeon. The holidays in said families were filled with the usual Christmas fair, but also with strange family film favorites and traditions. So hang your stockings with care and when your sister starts complaining about your billionth viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life and how boooooring it is, spend your 12 Days of Christmas with the movies that have followed Love & Squalor from infancy to bloggerhood.

If you gathered all the members of my extended family and asked them to select by committee an official family film (like a crest, or a tartan), there's almost no doubt in my mind that the film they would wind up choosing would be Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  This may be true of a great many families, but given the median age of my aunts and uncles, you'd be more likely to predict a classic along the lines of The Quiet Man or Gone With the Wind over a John Hughes 80's teen comedy.  Nevertheless, everyone loves it.  I'm quite sure my cousins can reenact the dialogue from beginning to end by heart, but this isn't the point.  Many of my entries thus far have been concerned with films shot into replay by my father, Ferris is pure Mom.  The VHS copy still shelved in the homestead basement basement is the original deal, white cover yellowed, Matthew Broderick faded but grinning.  There's no way of knowing just how many times that tape has been run through and rewound.  If I had to, I would guess that Ferris Bueller was the first film I watched in which I was consciously aware of the dropped f-bomb.  For some reason, though, it was the movie that made it past all parental censors.  Granted, my parents were fairly lax on censoring their own children, but they were normally quite paranoid about the parental mandates of visiting friends.  You know that kid who wasn't allowed to watch a PG-13 movie before they were 13 (maybe you were that kid)?  Well, if you came to my house, chances are this would be the movie that would get you just slightly ahead of that limitation.  Ferris Bueller cracks my mom up every time.  It seems to transform her into a child of the 80's.  The film is a blind spot, it can do no wrong.  If you have not seen it, you have not lived.  If you don't like it, you have no taste.  I didn't make these rules.  You'll have to take that up with my mom. 

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