Monday, March 28, 2016

Movie Review: "Joe Dirt" (2001)

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Movie"Joe Dirt"
Director: Dennie Gordon
Year: 2001
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

A janitor at a radio station named Joe Dirt (David Spade) tells the station's DJ Zander Kelley (Dennis Miller), who is intrigued by Joe's redneck look, about his life story and his quest to find his real parents who forgot him at the Grand Canyon when he was a child. 

Back in 1999, Adam Sandler took the money he made in the 90's and started Happy Madison Productions. Since then, he has managed to keep himself and his old Saturday Night Live buddies gainfully employed. In 2001, he produced a film for his friend David Spade, and "Joe Dirt" was the result of that friendliness. Do we wish he had slapped Spade's hand instead of forcing this film upon the public? Of course we do. Spade himself plays the titular Joe Dirt, who is a walking, talking, breathing redneck stereotype. He sports a mullet, which is actually a wig that was fused to his head as a child because he was born without the top of his skull; his facial hair naturally grows in a mutton chop/mustache combo; he loves Dodge hemis; he even jokes about sleeping with a girl who he thought was his sister. Could this get more awful? As a child, Joe was left at the Grand Canyon by his parents and he has been on the road searching for them ever since. He has a lot of trouble doing so because his parents' last name is actually different, and the only picture he has of them was taken from their back side. It's only while working as a janitor at a radio station in Los Angeles that he catches the eye the station's popular DJ, Zander Kelly, played by another SNL alumni Dennis Miller. Zander thinks a guy who looks as ridiculous as Joe must have a story to tell. Joe tells Zander the story of his life and about the people he meets and has met along the way. These are people like Clem, played by Christopher Walken, who also works as a janitor, but is actually a New York mobster in witness protection; like native American Kicking Wing, played by Adam Beach, who owns a roadside fireworks stand that only sell snakes and sparklers; like the girl of his dreams and Joe's eventual love interest Brandy, played by Brittany Daniel; and like Joe's bully rival Robby, played by Kid Rock, because you can't have a movie about redneck stereotypes without Kid Rock!

Now, this movie does occasionally get a laugh, though these chuckles usually come from a supporting character rather than Spade himself, because let's face it, David Spade isn't very funny. Fart jokes, incest jokes, dogs humping jokes, idiot jokes, they all get pretty repetitive after a while and it's pretty much the same shtick Sandler and co. has been known for producing en masse since the mid-1990's. "Joe Dirt" is pretty much the definition of dumb, and the weight of how bad it is can't be overcome by the amount of laughs it offers. If we had to pick, though, we'd still rather watch this than most of Seth MacFarlane's movies. It may be a guilty pleasure to some, but good lord, pick a better movie! We think we prefer David Spade more when he plays the sarcastic, snarky asshole rather that a pathetic but lovable loser. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone stated in his review, "In one scene, raw sewage is dumped on Joe. See Joe Dirt and you'll know how that feels." That's a pretty accurate statement if you've seen it. How this movie got a sequel, we will never understand.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 11%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
One year ago, we were watching: "The Purple Rose of Cairo"

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