Ferris Bueller’s Sad Semi-Return

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 30 2012 12:45 PM

The Ferris Bueller Ad Is Even Worse Than Expected

bueller2
Matthew Broderick in a new Honda commercial.

On Friday, I mentioned that a Ferris Bueller-related ad of some kind had been teased online, and that Jalopnik had reported that the ad would be for Honda. I expressed my dismay that this might be the case—but sharp commenter Sihaya pointed out that the Volkswagen ad “The Force” was “better than the Star Wars prequels,” and suggested that maybe this Honda ad would similarly do justice to a beloved cinematic icon.

Your mileage may vary, as they say, but the ad below is actually worse than I expected. Broderick plays himself, evoking Bueller without ever using his name. Ferris Bueller allusions abound, but tend toward the ham-handed (a valet saying “Broderick… Broderick…” à la Ben Stein is probably the worst of a mostly weak bunch). The spot was directed by Todd Phillips, but surprisingly (or not), it looks just like any other car commercial.

Advertisement

What I take to be a Sarah Jessica Parker voiceover cameo is a nice touch, and I like the existential crisis in the middle (prompted by a stuffed walrus, for some reason, rather than a pointillist painting)—but the latter moment is poignant mostly because this commercial should, in fact, prompt an existential crisis for Broderick. Similarly, when he describes his fake-coughing in the ad’s opening as “one of the worst performances of my career,” well, it sounds like more than a quote from the film Honda is mercilessly mooching from.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.