Throughout his career, Hughes teetered joyously between reality and fantasy, choosing to focus on realistic people in plausible situations, but allowing the story to spin off into fervent fits of fancy (much like adolescence itself). There may be no more glorious explosion of euphoria than the midday, midweek parade that marches through downtown Chicago in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
As his classmates sit through yet another day of boring lectures, Bueller (Matthew Broderick, sporting tousled hair and a vest) jumps on top of the nearest float, grabs a mike and lip-synchs to the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout,” John Lennon’s screeching voice seemingly blasting from every rooftop. Dozens of dancers flock to his side as construction workers dance up on the scaffolding. The entire city, it seems, has come out to play. And at the center of it all is a teenager totally at ease with soaking up the spotlight.