In the year's time since Lindsay Lohan committed her masterstroke in Mean Girls, the world (which is to say, mostly just the staff of this paper) has lived solely in anticipation of the formerly buoyant actress' next masterpiece. We've mourned with her at every public breakup, devoted entire staff meetings to prayers that she recover from her multiple bouts of "exhaustion," studied each inappropriate paparazzi photo--all in a desperate attempt to fully comprehend the crimson mystery that is Lindsay Lohan. So when film editor Erik Henriksen announced he'd received word that Herbie: Fully Loaded was set to be screened, it came as no surprise that the honor of reviewing said film would be won only under fierce competition. A few pasty elbows were thrown but in the end I somehow walked away the victor.
And my prize? Honestly, I'd rather not talk about it. Herbie is, as those less feverish might have already imagined, utterly joyless in most every sense--and not just because Disney digitally reduced Lindsay's ample assets by as much as two bra sizes.
Here's a rough sketch: Maggie Peyton (Lohan), rescues the titular VW Bug from certain doom at a wrecking yard. Soon, the poorly paid digital effects people at Disney tremendously over-animate the car into a series of delightful misadventures, including a race with a NASCAR champion/villain (Matt Dillon), a demolition derby, and some other bullshit. Anyways, Maggie wants to be a racecar driver, and though her NASCAR daddy (Michael "Who the fuck did I piss off?" Keaton) isn't feeling it, she off and wins the Skoal cup anyways. Playing out like an incredibly misguided attempt to lure teenage girls into the cult of NASCAR, even the greatest single actress of our generation couldn't save Herbie--although I, and the rest of the world, respect that she would have the audacity to try.