Ren (Kevin Bacon) has moved from Chicago to small town America. Rock music and dancing have been banned. While the town preacher, Rev Shaw Moore (John Lithgow) continues to preach against rock music and dancing, his teenage daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) is rebelling against her father and constrictions placed on her. With prom coming up quick, Ren and his classmates have to stand up for themselves against the adults in town in favor of the prom they desperately desire.
This movie is an out and out classic. It’s the perfect teenage rebellion movie, coupled with one of the best soundtracks ever. There was a reboot in 2011, but it doesn’t quite stand up to the original.
Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) does not want to go school today. He devises a plan to avoid his parents and the school principal, Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), who is eager to catch Ferris in the act of cutting class. With his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), they head to Chicago for a day of fun and adventure.
This is a 1980’s John Hughes directed teenage movie. It is nearly 30 years old and as perfect a teenage movie as it was when it premiered in 1986. And did I mentioned that the parade scene where Ferris sings Twist and Shout is awesome?
Fairy tale male leads are often a certain type. Tall, dark, handsome, charming and maybe a little flawed, just to make him interesting. He is the one who not only rescues the princess, but also marries her. Their happily ever after and ride into the sunset is predictable from the word go.
Shrek (2001) smashed this stereotype, forever altering the way we see the male lead character in fairy tales.
Shrek (Mike Myers) is an ogre. He is rude, smelly, keeps to himself and not the image that a female would conjure up when she thinks of Prince Charming. Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) starts to encroach on Shrek’s swamp. Shrek makes a deal with Lord Farquaad to rescue his intended, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and bring her back to his kingdom. If Shrek agrees and bring bring the princess, he will be left in peace for the rest of his days. Traveling with Shrek is Donkey (Eddie Murphy), a talking ass who is part sarcasm, part performer and part wise old man.
Did Shrek break the mold for fairy tales? No. Did the story have the predictable, typical happy ending? Of course. But what this movie does brilliantly is to take the stereotypes of genre, flip it on the head and skewer in a way that is pure genius. The twist in this story (which I will not share, in case anyone has not seen this movie), certainly goes a long way in redeeming the standard ending.
Do I recommend this movie? Sure. Do I recommend the sequels? Let me put it this way. Outside of Star Wars, Star Trek and a handful of the most recent superhero movies, most movies that have multiple sequels begin to loose their steam after a while. The sequels that followed this movie are among the movie sequels that will never be as good as the first.