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Why Is Everyone Talking About The New Yorker’s Film Critic and Incredibles 2?

Elastigirl and Eustace Tilley.
Elastigirl and Eustace Tilley.

This weekend, Incredibles 2 — an animated children’s movie about a family of superheroes — had a record $182.7 million box office opening. On Monday, The New Yorker published a review by film critic Anthony Lane that broke a record of its own.

“Anthony Lane’s review of the Incredibles 2 is maybe the horniest piece of criticism I’ve ever read,” remarked writer Bradley Babendir on Twitter. Meanwhile, writer Miriam Bale mused that it possibly contained “the single grossest paragraph in film criticism.”

Yes, reader, today is the day I must type out these fateful words: The New Yorker’s film critic is horny as hell for the thicc mom from The Incredibles.

Let’s unpack this deranged set of Mad Libs together.

What was the horniest part of his review?
This is a tough one, because Lane really gets excited right out of the gate. He opens with a bit about how the superhero move “Trampoline me!” sounds like it could be a sex thing, and comments on how Elastigirl — the mom character, and the focal point of his lust — is wearing an exceptionally tight outfit. This section, about how boner-inducing she is, is what people have particular taken issue with:

Which bring us to the other event. Take your seat at any early-evening screening of “Incredibles 2” in the coming days, listen carefully, and you may just hear a shifty sound, as of parents squirming awkwardly beside their enraptured offspring. And why, kids? Because Mommy just leaned over to Daddy and whispered, “Is it just me, or does Mrs. Incredible kind of look like Anastasia in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey?’ You know, the girl in the Red Room, with the whips and all?” And Daddy just rested his cooling soda firmly in his lap and, like Mr. Incredible, tried very hard to think of algebra. As for how Daddy will react later on, during the scene in which Helen and the husky-voiced Evelyn unwind and simply talk, woman to woman, I hate to think, but watch out for flying popcorn.

I told you! Horny. As. Hell.

Is this the first time Lane’s been horny on main?
Hardly. Lane was widely criticized for a 2014 profile of Scarlett Johansson, in which he was clearly physically enamored with his subject — though the real issue at hand, it seems, is that he got incredibly limited access and decided to write a feature-length piece regardless. But he’s also been derided as sexist multiple times. For instance, actress Lola Kirke wrote a letter to the editor this past April, complaining about Lane’s “glib criticism” of her character’s physical appearance. Even way back in 2008, Jezebel published an essay declaring that he has “female trouble.”

Is he the only person horny for Elastigirl?
That is a resounding no. Search “Elastigirl” on Google Images without SafeSearch on at your own peril. Of particular interest to fans is the following scene of Elastigirl looking at her legendary badonk in the mirror.

Many on Twitter have also weighed in with their admiration.

So, is it okay to be horny for Elastigirl?
I’m not here trying to tell you how to live your life! Just, maybe consider omitting your horniest thoughts about an animated children’s film character if you’re reviewing the movie for a prestigious legacy publication. Or, on second thought, don’t — because this is some of the most fun news we’ve had in a while.

The New Yorker’s Film Critic & Incredibles 2, Explained