I am such a purist geek that I refused to watch High Fidelity when it came out because I thought moving the story from England to the US would ruin it. Unlike here (or at least here for members of Rob Gordon's generation), if you flunk out of college, that's it. There's no pulling your head out and going to JuCo and transferring and ending up a lawyer or doctor or MBA eventually. (This is infinitely harder than it used to be - you young ones may not understand what I mean.) But you flunk out in other countries, and your class mobility is pretty much stuck in place. So, in a very real sense, Charlie did, in fact, ruin Rob's life in the book. However, Jack Black's performance filled in this gap in the plot, so the movie was saved.
Ferris Bueller was the worst ever. I can't believe it's so beloved. First off, every time I saw the damn Ferrari, I kept seeing a mental image of the Cameron character beaten to a bloody pulp lying in a coma in a hospital room. I hate embarrassement humor or "uh oh" humor. So much. I just kept squirming because you knew that car was going to get totalled from the moment they brought it out.
Two, again, maybe a generational thing, but I am maybe two or three years older than Ferris would be now. I went to high school right before everything turned to shit. Ferris's whole day of freedom thing just didn't speak to me at all.
I went to an alternative, self-study highschool, we were only supposed to be there an hour a day anyway, and if I didn't want to go, I damned well didn't go. The whole point of my high school was that if you didn't do the work, you didn't get the results that you wanted. It was like a semi-unschooling type experience - we met the study standards, but our relationship with our teachers was a purely cooperative one. It was pretty neat.
The movie was pointless to me. Ferris supposedly had all this power and freedom that his classmates didn't, and what did he do with it? Went to a baseball game and performed in a parade? I would have been fucking shit up at that age. I just couldn't relate at all. Ferris was much too wholesome. The movie was like one endless Mentos commercial.