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Twenty-five years after its release, John Hughes's most-loved work doesn't hold up
Gee I hate articles like this. They take a cultural icon and they wring every bit of joy from it. I can recall particularly some small minded writer taking to task Salinger for A Catcher in the Rye. Only one person will win that argument, but that doesn't seem to stop a steady procession of journalists taking cheap pot-shots at big targets.
Now, reasonable criticism is, well, reasonable. I'm all for dissenting views, they're one of the things that make our society healthy, but there is a difference between expressing an opinion and didactically proclaiming opinion as fact, efectively I'm right and all you are wrong.
In any case the writer here - as so many do - has completely missed the point. For the most part movies are escapism. They are a fantasy world we enter to be entertained, thrilled, amused by, and occasionally to experience a wistful sense of wow, I wish that was me.
For fuck's sake Ferris Bueller's Day Off (yes, one of my favourite movies to) is not a fucking social commentary. It's not meant to be dissected for hidden meaning and nuance. The relationships portrayed in it, like the characters, are purely for entertainment purposes. They are like people we might know, or wish we did; situations that seem familiar but somehow enhanced, outsized. This is not reality, it is escapism in its most pure form. Fantasy.
What's wrong with that? Nothing. It means what it does for so many people because it is emblematic of a time and an attitude writ large. For many in my generation it is one of those movies that make us feel good, defying authority, going out to have a good time and ultimately getting away with it big time. Shit, it even has a happy ending.
As soon as we begin to attribute deeper meaning to entertainment like this we begin to lose something. It's not meant to be analysed. It's not meant to be deep and fucking meaningful. It's not high art, and there's nothing wrong with that. As I'm fond of saying, it is what it is.
I can't help but read a piece like this and think the writer is taking cheap shots. It's an easy, big target after all, a much loved movie. What do you expect after all? The movie is a product of the times it was made, 25 years ago. It might seem smart to reappraise it now through the cultural prism of the day, but it's not relevant. Like the guy taking on Salinger there's only one winner. The writer comes off sounding too smart by half, and totally out of his depth.
My message to those who seek to deconstruct and dismantle these icons we live by is the same as in the article title: get over it. There are better things to write about.