Live for Films

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Ferris Bueller is Tyler Durden

Posted by LiveFor on April 30, 2009

I am a big fan of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fight Club. This blew my mind when I read it over on /Film. Big warning for spoilers if you haven’t seen Fight Club.

Cool Papa Bell over on metatalk mentions the Ferris Bueller Fight Club Theory:

My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the “Fight Club” theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

One day while he’s lying sick in bed, Cameron lets “Ferris” steal his father’s car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the “three” characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day — Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn’t until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane (”He’s gonna marry me!”), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.

Cameron: My father will see what I did. I can’t hide this. He’ll come home and he’ll have to deal with me. I don’t care I really don’t. I’m just tired of being afraid.
Ferris: It’s my fault. I’ll take the heat for it. When he comes home, we’ll tell him that I did it. He hates me anyway.
Cameron: No, I’ll take it. I’ll take it.
Ferris: No, you don’t want this much heat.
Cameron: If I didn’t want it, I wouldn’t have let you take the car.
Ferris: I made you take that car.
Cameron: I could have stopped you.


Palinode goes further:

I realized that Cameron and Sloane seem to inhabit a different universe than Cameron and Ferris, or Ferris and Sloane. It’s those two who are shyly and sweetly stumbling into a relationship, and “Ferris” is the thing between them. During the parade scene, for example, Ferris vanishes, leaving the two to have an understated and genuine conversation. Then Ferris erupts from a crowd of girls on a parade float, screaming out what Cameron cannot. He is the sausage king of Chicago, Cameron’s frustrated adolescent libido made manifest in the form of a short dude with a vest.

It all fits. Oh my God! Going to have to watch Ferris again.

6 Responses to “Ferris Bueller is Tyler Durden”

  1. Tonks said

    So did Cameron imagine Ferris in the shower as well?

  2. Borris J said

    Nah I don’t see it! What about Rooney and grace they are all aware of ferris! I think you could put the “fight club” story over thosands of movies! Broke back mountain anyone? LOL

  3. streetpete said

    Hindsight is a beautiful thing; but, f###, Ferris was not that good. Stop self-abusing over this film; you’re not far off middle-age now. Next thing, you’ll be telling me that Andrew McCarthy was the best actor to walk the boards! No, he was a miserable little shit with a funny lip, who always got the girl through whining and self-loathing; which I have done for years – it doesn’t work.

  4. Borris J said

    Nah I don’t see it! What about Rooney and grace they are all aware of ferris! I think you could put the “fight club” story over thosands of movies! Broke back mountain anyone? LOL

  5. Live for films said

    Well maybe Ferris was Cameron’s real name and then he was abducted by Aliens and jacked into the Matrix 🙂

  6. Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read…

    -Bill-Bartmann

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