I chose to analyze the theatrical trailer of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off because the film is an 80’s teen classic and one of my all-time favorite flicks. Much to my utter disappointment the trailer is lackluster and does not capture the exciting and entertaining craziness of the film itself. Honestly I am glad that I had parents to tell me to see the film because had I stumbled upon the trailer first I am not positive that I would have ended up watching it. The preview consists mostly of random lines and clips from the movie, no real introduction of characters besides Ferris, and annoying classical background music.
The most important aspects of an argument – which is what a movie preview really is—are the appeals that are used to draw the audience in and persuade them to do something. It is also crucial to focus on the intended audience. “Most arguments are composed with specific audiences in mind, and their success depends, in part, on how well their strategies, content, tone, and language meet the expectations of the viewers” (Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz 101). The trailer somewhat indicates that this film is targeted towards teenagers, but due to the poor aspects listed above, it is not what I would consider to be a successful argument for the intended audience.
It is fortunate for this substandard trailer that it can plaster John Hughes’ legendary name across the screen. This is one way that it does have an ethos appeal. Having seen such films like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, I know that John Hughes films are treasured classics that evoke emotion and are usually hilarious. He is a respected director and screenwriter with a known resume. That helps out this pitch quite a bit. Similarly, Paramount’s name also adds some professionalism. It can also be argued that this director/studio pairing present a logical reason to see the film after watching the trailer. Knowing that I have enjoyed films by both Hughes and Paramount Pictures in the past, there is a good chance I will like this one.
As far as the representation of pathos/emotion appeal in this trailer, do not expect to be persuaded to go out and rent the film just based on that alone. Sure there are some humorous lines and an awkwardly funny moment in which Matthew Broderick is singing in the shower, but overall the trailer does not invoke ant strong or noteworthy emotions. “…emotions can add real muscle to arguments too, and that’s worth noting…In analyzing emotional appeals, judge whether the emotions raised—anger, sympathy, fear, envy, joy, or love—advance the claims offered” (Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz 103-105). In this case, they definitely do not. My random chuckles in no way provide enough of an emotional reaction to garner any sort of action. The only way that I can find any emotional appeal is the casting of Matthew Broderick. I am a huge fan, and when I see him in the trailer I am somewhat emotionally drawn just because of the feelings I have for him as an actor.
It is frustrating that such an awesome movie has such an underwhelming trailer. The trailer did not express just how truly epic this film is, nor did it spark any true emotion from me as a viewer. Because of how poor the preview is compared to the actual film, I really do not feel like it deserves any tickets, just because it could be so much better. The content it has to work with is way better than this trailer lets on. Next time I analyze a film trailer I will be sure to select one because it succeeded in getting me to go see a film and not because I already loved the film itself.