Ferris Bueller’s Sad Semi-Return

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

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?