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The 6 Best Sick Day Movies… About People Pretending To Be Sick
February 14, 2013
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Have you been hit by a cold or the flu yet? No fun.

And even if you haven't, the winter is getting long and you probably feel like you could use a little time off.

But what if you can't get away right now? Maybe money is a little tight and you can't spring for a vacation.

Why not call in sick. We've all done it. It's a right of passage.

Haven't studied enough for that math exam? Feels like a cold coming on.

Tired of everyone at your office? Stomach bug.

So hungover you need to wear shades? Must be the flu.

And of course, don't forget "the cough" - that well timed hack when you call in - just to let your boss know your time in sick bay could stretch into the long weekend.

Or maybe, you've snagged a day off by citing some vague "personal problem" that won't require darkening the door of a depressing walk-in clinic.

If you done any of that, or all of it, you can take pride that your dereliction has been celebrated in Hollywood.

So, grab some chicken soup and shot-gun ginseng as we list a few of our favourite movies about people who aren't nearly as sick as they want you to believe.

Or as sick as they might get watching the Hobbit in 3D if reports are to be believed.

the-5-best-sick-day-movies-about-people-pretending-to-be-sick-feature1.jpg6. Billy Madison

The New York Times said of this film, "if you've ever had a yen to relive the third grade, this must be the next best thing."

They say that like it's a bad thing. This good mindless fun is just what the doctor ordered (or maybe they just couldn't read his handwriting and the doctor actually Billy Elliot).

Even though his entire future depends on him passing grade school as an adult, Billy still pretends to be sick, leading to this exchange...

"I swear to God I'm sick." "If you're gonna stay home today, you can help me shave my armpits." "Oh my God. I'll go to school."

the-5-best-sick-day-movies-about-people-pretending-to-be-sick-feature2.jpg5. Bend it Like Beckham

As a point of interest, this was the first Western film allowed to be shown in North Korea (one can almost imagine Kim Jong Il himself kicking back and enjoying it).

The character of Jess defies her traditional Sikh parents to pursue her love of sport and what better way, given the sport in question - soccer - than by faking.

Her sick ruse is found out, but not before bending it like Becks on the pitch.

the-5-best-sick-day-movies-about-people-pretending-to-be-sick-feature3.jpg4. The Royal Tenenbaums

Royal Tenenbaum is not above stretching the truth to get what he wants.

When he finds out his ex-wife Etheline is about to get remarried, he feigns cancer - the gold standard when it comes to faking sick, (especially if you're soliciting donations for a phony charity).

In the end, his cheeseburger diet (if not his balding dome) tips everyone off that he's in much better health than he claims.

If you're sick for real (say, you've ushered in the second phase of SARS) or just prolonging a vacation, The Royal Tenenbaums is a great choice.

the-5-best-sick-day-movies-about-people-pretending-to-be-sick-feature4.jpg3. E.T. The Extraterrestrial

When Elliott fakes being sick in Spielberg's a boy-and-his-alien classic, he does so with good reason: he has to spend more time with an extra-terrestrial (an equally good reason: a secret gig by your favorite band).

For a generation of kids, the discovery that you could just put the thermometer next to a heat source that could both shatter glass and get you the whole day off school, came as something of a revelation.

For sick day viewing, bathe yourself in a warm light of nostalgia with Spielberg at his early-'80s peak, and a flick that glamourizes bicycle travel in a way that even the mayor of Toronto would appreciate.

people-pretending-to-be-sick-princess-bride.jpg2. The Princess Bride

At the beginning of 'The Princess Bride', Fred Savage's character might actually be sick. But by the end, he's just looking for any excuse to hear the rest of the story - and who can blame him?

From the ridiculous - Andre the Giant's constant rhyming, Wallace Shawn's pronunciation of "inconceivable!," the duelling swordsmen who aren't actually left-handed - to the sublime - "As you wish," "My name is Inigo Montoya" - this is one movie that's always a good choice when you're taking a cheeky day for yourself.

And as for the Rodents of Unusual Size? We're not convinced they exist.

the-5-best-sick-day-movies-about-people-pretending-to-be-sick-feature5.jpg1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

The granddaddy of sick fibbing is Ferris Bueller's Day Off (and you simply can't even say the title without droning it in the voice of celebrated real-life economist Ben Stein).

"Bueller" is the ultimate paean to pretending with the title character going to absurd lengths to spend the day touring around Chicago in his dad's friend's Ferrari (not a real piece of Italian engineering, as IMDb points out - they made three fibreglass fakes in keeping with the theme).


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