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Directed by Dennie Gordon
Running Time: 1:30
Rated PG-13 for crude and sex related humor, language.

Joe Dirt wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, and it wasn't as funny as I had hoped it could be. It had some funny moments, it was slow in a few places, and overall just something you go see and then forget about when you leave the theater.

David Spade plays Joe Dirt, a guy who when he was eight was left at the Grand Canyon by his parents. So sporting a mullet wig, Joe spends years travelling around the country, desperately trying to find his parents so he can have the family he's always dreamed of. The movie itself is told mostly in flashback, as Joe is on a radio show telling his story to the DJ (Dennis Miller). Each day, more and more people tune into the station to listen to Joe's tale of woe and by the end, Joe has become a nationwide cult hero. But back to Joe's story... Joe meets a bunch of interesting people along his journey. From a hot blond named Brandy (Brittany Daniels of Sweet Valley High fame. Whatever happened to her twin sister Cynthia?), to a fireworks selling Indian named Kicking Wing (Adam Beach), to a strange janitor (Christopher Walken), Joe meets all sorts of people all across the country. As you might expect with his 70's hair and his small physique, Joe gets picked on by almost everyone he meets, including Robby (Kid Rock), who is trying to win Brittany over, even though she really loves Joe. Along the way strange things happen to Joe, sometimes funny, sometimes sick, sometimes just plain odd. And in the end Joe finds out about his parents, and ends up finding the family he's always wanted.

The movie wasn't as stupid as some of the critics have said. I generally try not to read reviews before I go see a film, I just sometimes hear about what critics say. And in this case I had heard that Joe Dirt was horrible, not funny at all, and just pathetic. I'm a David Spade fan, as well as a fan of the whole Adam Sandler/Rob Schneider juvenile humor films, so I still went in hoping for some laughs. And there were some. The whole Silence of the Lambs section had me laughing out loud. Just watching Spade wearing that mullet around had me giggling at some points. And there were some other scenes that were cute/funny but not really laugh out loud funny. The whole premise of the movie wasn't original, and you know how the movie is going to eventually end. So it basically comes down to whether or not you can stand David Spade. I enjoyed the supporting cast which helped a lot. At least it wasn't Spade and the same person all the time. From Brittany Daniel to Adam Beach to Rosanna Arquette to Christopher Walken to Kid Rock, there was always someone there for Spade to play off of, which kept it a little more interesting.

By far the best part of the movie was the soundtrack. Featuring songs from Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, The Doobie Brothers and .38 Special, the whole movie had a great rock and roll back drop. I only wish .38 Special had made the soundtrack album, but the rest of the CD looks great, and I'm definitely going to pick one up. And having the American Bad Ass himself, Kid Rock in the movie was also fun. He played the role straight, and did a good job for his first time out.

So overall Joe Dirt had some laughs, but wasn't all that great. At the same time, it isn't as bad as others have made it out to be. But that might just be me. A long time ago, maybe 9 or 10 years ago, there was a movie called Brain Donors starring John Turturro and directed by Dennis Dugan who would go on to direct Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy. Brain Donors made about $860,365 in the theaters, but I thought it was one of the funniest movies I had seen up to that point. So my tastes may be, and probably are different than a lot of people. My point being that while some critics may hate Joe Dirt, while some might find it just so-so, some of you might love it. So give it a shot, what have you got to lose?

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reviewed 04/12/01

© 2001 Wolfpack Productions

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