Last weekend, I watched "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" with my son. As is his wont, he focused on all the action in which the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder was featured. This did not mean that we didn't enjoy the rest of the hijinks that ensued as Ferris and his pals play hooky from school. Those moments when Matthew Broderick, as Ferris, broke the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience were some of our favorites. We watched the whole thing, all the way through the credits.
Never mind that Ferris' adventures came out the year I graduated from college, or that Matthew Broderick is three months older than I am. It was part of an effort to instill the values and culture of my generation on my teenaged son. We hope, in this his sophomore year, to show him "Breakfast Club," and "Heathers." What possible good will it do to steep our child of the new millennium in a John Hughes-infused soup? Perhaps we hope to insulate him from the world that he wanders through each day.
Being a teenager in 2012 is much more complicated than it was in 1980. I know that in my heart, and that is why I cling to these images from my youth. Perhaps I should be watching "Stand and Deliver" or "Dangerous Minds" with him. Last year, his English class watched "One Eight Seven." His mother and I were shocked and dismayed to discover that this terrifying tale of urban education had been shown in his classroom. Of course, this was right about the time we were sitting down as a family to watch "Dead Poet's Society." Maybe we should let him do a little more of the movie selection. There's probably a scathing indictment of high school education buried somewhere in "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen."