Sometimes an already bad idea just gets worse in the execution.
The newspaper said that “Herbie: Fully Loaded” started at 7:35 at the cheap theatres. Or at least that’s the way Julie read it. When we arrived at the theatre at 7:34, we discovered that it actually started at 6:35. That should have been my first clue that we would have been better off going home. But no, the girls were pumped about seeing a movie, and I didn’t feel like putting up with three disappointed kids moping at home, so we looked for an alternative. The only possibility was Bad News Bears – it had started 15 minutes earlier, so we’d probably only miss the trailers. Why not? I still remember the original when I was a kid – harmless fun, a good moral, and a feel good ending. What could be wrong with THAT?
Big mistake. BIG mistake. I should have recognized the mistake the moment we walked into the theatre and heard the first string of obscenities out of Billy Bob Thornton’s mouth. I should have run for the hills and taken the kids with me. But NO-oh, I’m too much of a wimp to put up with the protestations of three unhappy children. Silly me.
I can only say – WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING when they made this movie? Just WHO were they catering to – some sorely mistaken grown-ups who thought a grown-up version of a childhood classic might be fun? I don’t think I’ve heard that much swearing since the last Lethal Weapon movie! Billy Bob played the coach, a washed-up, drunk, former ball player turned rat exterminator, and if a sentence out of his mouth didn’t contain the word “hell” than it was sure to contain “shit” or “damn”. (Here’s a classic line – “You guys look like the last shit I took.”) And thrown in between those words was a healthy smattering of “ass” and “tits”. Not just the WORD tits, but the real thing, just barely covered in string bikinis – particularly in the scene where he takes the team to HOOTERS! And then there was the fact that the team was sponsored by a strip club – “Bo-peeps”. And if Billy Bob had been the ONLY one swearing, it would have been one thing, but I really don’t need to watch a bunch of pre-teens using that kind of language when I’m sitting there with my kids! Then there was the final scene – Billy Bob handing out non-alcoholic beer to everyone on the team. ‘Cause, ya know, everyone needs to hear a three-year-old proclaim, at the top of her voice, “Mom – those kids are drinking BEER!”
I’m really not a prude, but there was just no POINT to that movie. It certainly wasn’t meant for young children, and I really can’t see the redeeming quality for adults either.
You know it’s a shining moment when your nine-year-old daughter comes out of the theatre and says “Hey mom – I learned a new swear word. Shit bucket!”
Oh, and the next time I suggest that taking a three-year-old to a movie – especially a three year old with the attention span of a bored mosquito and the belief that multiple visits to the washroom is a good cure for boredom – somebody PLEASE give me a smack up-side the head!
I later found out that on one of those multiple trips to take Maddie to the washroom (she LOVED the little kids’ toilet, and I’ve learned better than to take a chance when she says she has to pee, so I gritted my teeth and took her each time she asked) that while I was out of the theatre, Billy Bob hopped into the sack with one of the team moms. (Apparently, you don’t see anything, but it was obvious enough for a nine-year-old to know what was going on. She almost whispered, when she told me – somewhat guiltily – that they had “S-E-X”.) If I HAD been in the theatre at that moment, and didn’t just hear about it on the ride home, that would have been the moment I would have hauled all three of them OUT of that theatre, despite the moans and groans I would have had to endure.
The moral of the story? Well, I guess it was that sometimes, even washed up drunks can inspire a losing team to almost victory. What my kids learned? Well, that drinking alchohol after a game is fun and rewarding, that “shit bucket” is a good swear word, that over-sexed groupies hang out with washed-up drunk former ball players, and that flipping people the finger is a good way to work out your aggression.
Oh yeah, it was a stellar night. Shoulda stayed home and washed the dishes.