Slug Bug, Beige and Striped
Ever see one of those movies where you’re moaning “crap… crap… crap… crap” through the first two-
Anyone with fond memories of the very silly Herbie movies of the 1970s might despair — I have those memories, too, though I readily admit that they have surely been filtered through glasses colored by childhood rosiness. But I have to admit that, simplistic as it all is, I was forced to embrace the girl-
See, ya gots your Maggie Peyton (Lindsay Lohan: Freaky Friday), a spunky chick and daughter of a legendary racing family whose dad, the sweetly sad and griefstricken widower Ray (Michael Keaton: White Noise, Jack Frost), won’t have any little girl of his out there on the NASCAR racetrack. And she meets a 1963 Volkwagen Beetle with a mind of its own, which is nowhere near to bursting with personality as I seem to remember Herbie being, but oh well. The car likes Maggie and ends up pushing her to race with NASCAR champ Trip Murphy — Matt Dillon (Crash, One Night at McCool’s), as Murphy, is pretty much the only one who gets how damn goofy this is supposed to be; in its foot-
There’s a timidity to this new Herbie that’s so disappointing, because you sense that if director Angela Robinson or any of the eighteen million members of the screenwriting committee had had any ball bearings, this could have been actually interesting. But no one in front of the camera or behind it is able to genuinely embrace the magic in the idea of a car with its own sense of destiny, with a sense of its own greatness and spirit. For a movie about a car that’s alive, there’s a lot that’s dead here — I wanted to see more cars personified, for instance, and more characters getting caught up in the nuttiness of it all. There’s a kind of made-
And then events conspire to bring Maggie to a major NASCAR event where she’s racing Herbie against Jeff Gordon (who’s got a cameo, natch) and Trip Murphy and all the souped-
Now I’m depressed. Can a girl only drive behind the wheel of a car that does all the tricks for her? I can’t believe I’m giving this much thought to Lindsay Lohan and a junkyard Beetle.