Save Ferris?

An internet subset, likely made up of Gen Xers, has been freaking out about this video:

At first glance, it might appear to be a teaser for a movie trailer. A more savvy inspection reveals it to be a teaser for a Super Bowl ad. And indeed, now there are reports that the ad will be for Honda.

I don’t really care. The premise is cute, I guess. But really, to me, today, with everything that’s going on with the economy, with unemployment the way it is (though apparently getting better), I really can’t get on board with a guy blowing off work.

Being something of a goody two shoes, I had trouble with Ferris even back in the prosperous 90s, when I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on TV and marveled at how much trouble his selfishness caused for everyone. But I enjoyed the movie, and it helped teach me not to take everything so seriously. (I went a little too far the other way my first year of college with some egregiously selfish behavior, and then, over time, found balance.)

I don’t know if the movie’s carefree attitude quite works now, though. We’re no longer living in prosperous times. There’s no economic safety net. Plus, Ferris was originally about the end of childhood. One final adventure before college. What would skipping a day of work symbolize? A midlife crisis? An inability to grow up and take responsibility? Or just being a normal person? Everyone needs a day off every now and then, and I support the idea of non-specific PTO. Regardless, none of these seem quite as compelling as the original story’s “last hurrah”.

I think what appeals to people about this teaser is the memory of what it was like in the 80s and 90s. Maybe they wish they could run and hide in the past. Maybe they think if they watch a Ferris Bueller Super Bowl commercial, or a movie starring the adult Ferris Bueller, they’ll be more able to pretend that things are the same now as they were then. That everything’s fine, nothing to see here, move on.

Do that, though, and you’re just letting things get worse. You’re giving up control. If you want things to get better, if you want a return to prosperity, then you need to work for it, not just punch your time clock and then distract yourself with entertainment. You need to observe, and you need to think.

Save Ferris? I say, kick Ferris to the curb. We’ve got bigger problems than just wanting a day off.

Edit: Here’s the full ad. Did you relive your glory days? :>


  1. I could see the criticism of Ferris the first time around – but I also thought to myself when my mother was complaining about it – jeez, it’s just a MOVIE! As a movie it was fun and I’m not sure it was supposed to send any hidden messages about society. But I also remember thinking when my mother was ranting that school really IS dull a lot of the time and a lot of teachers don’t try to make learning interesting or fun.

    Funny how little Matthew Broderick’s appearance has changed in 25 years…

  2. I don’t think it particularly meant to send any hidden messages, either. It was a product of the time in which it was made, though. Life was made out in movies to be pretty fun then. Authority figures were there to be messed with; rules were made to be broken. I think Ferris is a really good movie; I was trying to say that I was a stick in the mud. (I also hated the Cat in the Hat as a child. I probably still do.) What I mean is, I appreciate how things can be great without necessarily subscribing to their contextual value systems.

    My main point was that a new Ferris, now, makes absolutely no sense…at least not based on the same premise.

  3. I agree with that…I think they did debate making a sequel but it wouldn’t have been the same as Ferris would no longer have been in high school. They did make a TV series that was a prequel to the movie, but it got canceled after 13 episodes.

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