Ferris Bueller exhibits John Hughes on an off day. Paucity of invention here lays bare the total absence of plot or involving situations.
In a nutshell, the thin premise demonstrates the great lengths to which the irrepressible Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) goes in order to hoodwink his parents and high school principal into thinking he’s really sick when, in fact, all he wants to do is play hooky for a day.
Oddly, for a rich kid, Ferris doesn’t have his own car, so he shanghais his best friend for the day, appropriates the vintage Ferrari of the buddy’s father, spirits his girlfriend out of school and speeds off for downtown Chicago.
Broderick’s essential likeability can’t replace the loony anarchy of Hughes’ previous leading man, Anthony Michael Hall. Alan Ruck can’t do much with his underwritten second-banana role, and Mia Sara is fetching as Ferris’ g.f.
Picture’s one saving grace is the absolutely delicious comic performance of Jeffrey Jones as the high school principal.