Video Picks Archive

October 20, 1999
This Week's Video Picks
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This week my picks are Election (1999 - ) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986 - ).

Matthew Broderick returns to high school in the first film, only this time, he's a teacher. The disgustingly ambitious Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is running uncontested for student council president, and Mr. McAllister (Broderick) is the adviser. To prevent having to deal with the obnoxious Tracy all next year, Mr. M. convinces popular quarterback Paul Metzler (Chris Klein, the loveable lunkhead "Oz" in American Pie) to run against her. Director Alexander Payne (Citizen Ruth) presents Election as a deadpan satire that is often hilarious and incisive. I couldn't help seeing a little Clinton in Reese's performance (I was half-expecting her to bite her lower lip).

Of course, viewing Broderick as an authority figure is difficult for people of my generation, due to our fond memories of the second film. Here, he plays the title character: a popular high school kid who plays sick to spend an adventurous day in and around Chicago. With him is his girlfriend (Mia Sara) and his best buddy (Alan Ruck), who also take the day off. The show is stolen, however, by principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), who personally tries to hunt down the often-truant Ferris. I know it may seem soon to be unleashing yet another 1980's teen comedy after Back to the Future just last week. That film may have been the best of the lot, but Ferris Bueller's Day Off is easily the first runner-up, and certainly the best film by writer/director John Hughes.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Election (1999)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Election (1999) -- VHS
Election (1999) -- DVD
Election, a novel by Tom Perrotta -- Hardcover
Election, a novel by Tom Perrotta -- Paperback
Election: Music From The Motion Picture -- Compact Disc
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) -- VHS
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) -- DVD Home
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Capsule Reviews © 1999 Matt Heffernan