Thank you, Honda, for bringing to life Hollywood's wildest fantasy this Superbowl season: Ferris Bueller, our favorite high-school hooligan, playing hooky in our own backyard.
Sure, we get a tired, squarish, middle-aged version of Bueller, who has morphed into a very mortal Matthew Broderick, the actor who played him as a teen. Broderick sleeps in nice Westside hotels, drives a soccer-mom minivan (most essential to Honda's cause), and his greatest ideal of freedom is winning a stuffed panda at the Santa Monica Pier. But that's pretty much the reality ...
... of L.A.'s parental celebrity contingent, and we're damn proud to help Broderick embrace his reality at all our cheesiest tourist stops.
The undead character appears to spend his "sick day" at the Santa Monica Pier, the Malibu beach, the La Brea Tar Pits' Page Museum, the Hollywood Park Race Track and the never-ending New Year's party in Chinatown. Digital LA guesses that the actor's hotel in the opening scene is the Montage Beverly Hills, and is still trying to locate the "fictional Chez Neuf (aka '9 times') restaurant-front" at the end. Home sweet home!
Predictably, though, the viral Superbowl ad has struck an "Is nothing sacred?" chord with Bueller diehards.
The spot's executive creative director argues that "We felt it was more interesting and believable to have it be about [Broderick], as an actor, paralleling the movie. A real person skipping work and having an adventure fit in with the campaign and the Honda brand better, rather than trying to re-create the Ferris Bueller character."
To that, the Washington Post asks, "Is it really more believable that a famous actor would drive a CR-V alone around Los Angeles rather than a fictional person who barely attended high school?"
Uh -- yes, actually.
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And aside from the nostalgia factor, we know all this criticism is being planted by the Chicago board of tourism anyway. Writes FOX's Chicago station, with heavy hand:
In the original movie, released in 1986, Ferris Bueller takes a day off from his suburban Chicago school and enjoys a great day in Chicago, hitting the Art Institute, going to a Cubs game and singing in a St. Patrick's Day Parade. It was shot in Chicago, River Forest, Oak Park, Northbrook, Highland Park, Glencoe and Winnetka, Lake Forest.
In the new Honda ad, Broderick calls in sick to his acting job, goes to the beach, and rides a roller coaster. It's clearly shot in Southern California.
Damn right. Welcome to L.A., Bueller of our corazon! Sorry we couldn't snag you a sweeter ride, but you do fit in so gorgeously among our MILFy housewives in your coming-of-age CR-V.