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Joe Dirt (2001)
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Review Date: April 11, 2001
Director: Dennie Gordon
Writer: David Spade and Fred Wolf
Producers: Robert Simonds
Actors:
David Spade as Joe Dirt
Brittany Daniel as Brandy
Denis Miller as Radio DJ
Plot:
L'il Joey Dirt loses his parents at the Grand Canyon at the age of eight and spends the next ten years of his life looking for them. During his grand journey across the United States, Joe meets plenty of kooky characters, some of whom just put him down and others who help him along the way.
Critique:
This movie is not what you'd expect. I went in looking for a short, disposable film with lots of redneck and gross-out humor, but came out with a long story, laced with a surprising amount of dramatic moments, little laughs and a sweet side. And even though the film itself doesn't really come through in the comedy department, I would still slightly recommend it on video, since it does offer a cute FORREST GUMP-ish story, a truckload of cameos and a couple of laugh-out loud scenes. But what the hell were they thinking when they made this movie? I mean, it's got Adam Sandler and David Spade's names all over it, the trailer features the four or five major idiotic sequences from the film, but it's really just a slow-paced dramedy about a kid who gets abandoned by his parents, with spurts of Farrelly humor, which ultimately end up feeling out of place. Now I'm not suggesting that they'd have tried to make an all-out drama out of this, but why not sell it more as a cute comedy with some soft touches, rather than your typical Sandleresque movie, since the latter will only leave people disappointed in the end.

I actually stopped waiting for the laughs about halfway through this film and tried to enjoy it as it was. With its wicked soundtrack packed with cool tunes, fun cameos like Kid Rock showing off his acting chops and Christopher Walken, once again, bringing the house down with yet another excellent comedic performance. Now how's about giving this guy his own comedy already?!? He's hilarious!! I will also admit to actually starting to care for the Joe Dirt character, which is something I really didn't expect to do, but with most of Spade's characteristic wise-cracks left behind him for a change, it was nice to see him play someone with a heart. Of course, the bevy of beauties gracing the screen throughout also didn't hurt the film any, but someone please explain to me how these TOTAL babes always end up going for Spade's goofy characters?? (see LOST & FOUND) Oh well, I guess that's Hollywood! Anyway, the bottom line is that this flick doesn't come through in the laughs department (save for a few rare moments), goes on for way too long, but does offer some bitchin' tunes, a sweet story and a character that is ultimately likeable, in that sorry-ass kind of way. See it on video if you're looking for a few laughs and a cute story, but don't go out of your way to get it, since it ain't really all that good.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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