For the record, I love “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Not every scene--does anyone really watch the Principal Rooney shenanigans without impatiently waiting to return to the Ferris stuff?--but as a whole, the 1986 John Hughes classic is a blast. So on some level, it’s fun to revisit the Chicago-set movie’s rebellious mayhem thanks to Honda’s upcoming Super Bowl ad, in which “Ferris” star Matthew Broderick blows off a movie shoot to entertain himself around a city that’s definitely not Chicago.
Except in the movie Ferris is an endearingly disobedient teenager who writes his own rules and prefers hanging out with his friends to going to school. We can all relate to that. In Honda’s ad for the CR-V, however, Broderick’s a movie star who blows off his professional commitment (which, on the basis of Broderick’s recent “Tower Heist,” probably wasn’t a brilliant film in the first place) to spend time alone. He goes to an amusement park and, just after noting, “sometimes you gotta live a little,” chastises a young girl for screaming on a roller coaster. He hits a natural history museum where children chase him for some unseen offense (maybe the kids saw “Godzilla”?) and sings Chinese during a parade that we assume he was able to interrupt because of his stardom. Not, like Ferris, because he’s a charismatic scoundrel unafraid to be the center of attention.
It's doubtful anyone will ever confuse the Honda CR-V for the 1961 Ferrari GT California that Ferris drives and ultimately destroys, to the horror of Cameron (Alan Ruck). Especially because the commercial doesn’t seem to suggest that the CR-V provides as much fun as Ferris' Ferrari, only that it competently provides transport from one place to another. Which makes the ad seem like an unusual synthesis of a beloved film and a product that has nothing to do with it.
Then again, Broderick has the unpleasant task of watching his wife Sarah Jessica Parker in movies like “I Don’t Know How She Does It” and having to tell her how great she and the movie were, so we shouldn’t wonder why the guy needs a day off.
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