(1968)3Craig ButlerOne of the highest-grossing films of 1968, The Love Bug is a surprisingly agreeable "family film." True, it's blatantly manipulative and most of its characters -- especially "bad guy" Peter Thorndyke -- are essentially "one note" types. But those types fit well within the confines of the formulaic script, and the basic premise -- that a car can have a soul and a life of its own -- may be silly, but it's still engaging. And strangely enough, the character of Herbie really does have appeal; even against one's will, a viewer comes to care for this bizarre conglomeration of metal and human emotions. The human cast is enjoyable, too. Dean Jones is a little on the dull side, but he's also saddled with the stuffiest role -- and he does manage to be quite believable conversing with an automobile. Buddy Hackett and David Tomlinson are over the top (with some groan-inducing jokes), but they're fun, and Michele Lee is enchanting. The special effects have not aged well, but they're good enough to pass. Children who enjoy The Love Bug may want to check out the three sequels, but viewers should be advised that the series starts to run out of gas before too long.