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Joe Dirt

Starring David Spade, Christopher Walken Dennis Miller, Brittany Daniel and Kid Rock
Screenplay by David Spade and Fred Wolf
Directed by Dennie Gordon

IN SHORT: Executive Producer Adam Sandler. Comic direction David Spade. Need we say more? [Rated PG-13 for crude and sex-related humor, and for language. 93 minutes]

And, yes, sometimes the same dollar rating will work for films which are so different from each other that we always get eMail screaming "What the ---- were you thinking???" One look at the ads for Joe Dirt and you immediately know if you're in the teen/20something target audience that needs a place to park with their dates or best buds. Joe Dirt is the latter, a running series of gags all kept short enough to fit in a sitcom sketch, some gross enough to keep the kidlets cackling. Yep, dumping sewage, amputations, sleeping with your sister (maybe), all the stuff you've seen before. All the stuff you'll see again.

Oh God we're almost too old to be doing this.

And that being said, all the male elements of the target demo were laughing at Joe Dirt, perhaps the ultimate in white trash movies. Picture this, an eight year old kidlet abandoned at a National Park -- in a trash can -- nope, nothing subtle about this flick. Poor Joe Dirt (David Spade), spending his life in the lowest of jobs is currently a janitor at a Los Angeles radio station. Joe has always been searching for, and believing he will find, the parents that never abandoned him. Just forgot him. And forgot to come back to get him. Year after year after year.

It isn't that he doesn't have a home life or a girl just waiting for him to notice that she's the one. That's the joy of being a star in movies like this. The babes are fabulous. Brandy (Brittany Daniel) is the new babe on the block, waiting and waiting while rebuffing Joe's rival, Robbie (Kid Rock). Babe of the moment Jaime Pressly also gets down with the proverbial Dirt, as he shuffles from town to town, state to state in search of el parentos. The whole story is told in flashback to radio deejay Zander Kelly (Dennis Miller), whose broadcasts cover the country and get the country rooting for Joe. They've got to root. What this guy endures would make any shlub glad to be a shlub.

Continuing the gags as short as sitcom sketches you'll also meet a school janitor with a secret past (Christopher Walken) and an ex-babe who wears a T-shirt featuring a younger pair of breasts (Rosanna Arquette). Nope. Nothing subtle at all about Joe Dirt, even as it strives to bring a sentimental end to the story of this dude's wanderings. Joe Dirt just continues a long line of movies running the same type of gag over and over again to an audience who is too young to have seen 'em more than once or twice.

Of course, we sit through half a dozen or more every single year. We can see what the guys were laughing about. We laughed about it a decade ago.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Joe Dirt, he would have paid . . .


We sat through two teenflicks back to back in one night. Josie and the Pussycats for the girls. Joe Dirt for the guys. MTV's Carson Daly was in both of 'em. There's something evil and significant in that coincidence but we're just too teened out to delve into philosophical arguments about why Daly is a good guy in one movie and a bad guy in the other. Perhaps it just proves MTV's evil effect on the kidlets of the country. Perhaps, not.

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