Register Friday | September 21 | 2018

Small Car, Small Tits

Herbie May Be Fully Loaded, But Lindsay Lohan Ain’t

I must admit that I missed entire scenes of Herbie: Fully Loaded because I was staring at Lindsay Lohan's breasts. I had heard that her bodacious ta-tas had been digitally reduced during post-production, and I was trying to see the pixilation. Did they lengthen her hair to hide them? Did they remove curvaceous shadows? Flatten her nipples? Supposedly, Lohan's huge boobs were too much for the ratings board; in order to get a G-rating, Disney had to trade her hot Ds for cool Bs. I was rather appalled by such a thing; mostly because it's so misogynistic, but also because I thought Lohan's tits were scrumptious. Anyone who spent a year or so sucking on a teat appreciates bouncy, bulbous appendages like Lohan's.

I couldn't see any pixilation. The special effects were genius, I decided, and was saying as much on the phone the next day, when my boss's new assistant overheard and belted out, "Nuh-uh! She just lost weight!" I checked, and the new assistant was right: it was all an internet rumour. Lohan's breasts got smaller because Lohan got smaller. It's kind of sad, because I thought her voluptuous figure was awesome-and so did everyone else, considering how many photos of her tits are on the web. Lohan is still pretty, but her new slight frame makes her seem a bit too fragile. Eat something, sweetheart, please.

Even folks who lust after the skinny Lohan will be disappointed by how little flesh she bares in Herbie. Most of the time, she's in a silver jumpsuit, and it's not even form-fitting. I guess it couldn't be, because she found it in Herbie's trunk; which must mean it once belonged to Dean Jones, Helen Hayes, Joaquin Garay, and/or Bruce Campbell, the other actors who have driven the strangely sentient Volkswagen bug over the last thirty-seven years.

Clearly, I am not the target audience for either NASCAR or Herbie: Fully Loaded. It's a movie for seven-year-olds, and the seven-year-olds who were in the theatre with me loved it.

In case you haven't seen any of the previous Herbie movies and you're perplexed by the idea of a sentient car, let me explain: Herbie is the name of a VW Bug, emblazoned with the number 53, that has a mind of its own. He can't talk or do higher math, but he can save the day: usually by winning some sort of race, as he did in The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas; and in the 1997 TV movie, also called The Love Bug. He's basically a large, metal version of Lassie. The original film is silly but fun, and the rest are seventies Disney dreck. The more recent TV movie, which I missed, wasn't highly praised to say the least. And this new film isn't as good as the other Disney remakes starring Lohan: The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday. This is only because those two movies have great scripts based on good ideas, while Herbie: Fully Loaded is, well, about a car.

Okay, Herbie: Fully Loaded is also about Maggie Peyton, the only daughter of a widowed Ray Peyton (Michael Keaton, not embarrassing himself), who runs a stock car team. Maggie is sweet and spunky and, having graduated from college, is just about to start a job at ESPN. As a graduation gift, Ray takes her to a junkyard and buys her an about-to-be-scrapped car, which happens to be Herbie. (Why Herbie was sent to the junkyard is never explained; nor is how Herbie ended up with a brain, a racing suit in his trunk, and an unsigned be-nice-to-Herbie letter in his glove compartment.) One thing leads to another, and Maggie is inside Herbie, racing a guy named Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon, on high ham). It turns out that Maggie has always wanted to race cars, but her father doesn't want her to because she crashed once and he's afraid she'll die. Instead, Ray Jr. (Breckin Meyer, underused) has been racing Ray Sr.'s cars, but he always loses. Then there's some mistaken identity nonsense and a cute guy (Justin Long) gives Herbie a little The Fast and the Furious treatment so he and Maggie can race at a NASCAR event. There's a lot of NASCAR nuttiness in the movie.

Clearly, I am not the target audience for either NASCAR or Herbie: Fully Loaded. It's a movie for seven-year-olds, and the seven-year-olds who were in the theatre with me loved it. While I smiled and chuckled occasionally, the kids laughed and cheered and ooohed and ahhhed, especially at the pimped-out Herbie. But I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as The Parent Trap or Freaky Friday, which (like Shrek and Finding Nemo) have adult subplots and the occasional moment of satire. Herbie just has Lindsay Lohan's tits. Oh wait ...

Ted Gideonse has written about the arts (and other stuff) for Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Salon and the Advocate. He lives in Brooklyn and keeps a blog, the Gideonse Bible. Bring Me the Axe appears every other Friday.