Joe Dirt

Saturday Night Live movies usually suck. Joe Dirt is no exception. Usually, the problem is that what may be funny in a five minute skit loses any of its humor when drawn out for to a full-length feature film. Also, what may be funny in a five minute skit is usually not funny in a five minute Saturday Night Live skit. This movie is not an adaptation of a skit, which just leads to the next point: most movies starring Saturday Night Live actors suck. Oh, there are a few exceptions, but they almost always skim along the bottom. Perhaps the people who made Joe Dirt realized this, so they took a different route. Nearly the entire movie is a flashback. The result is a series of crappy five-minute skits rolled together into one long movie.

Joe Dirt is an entirely new character for David Spade (The Emperor's New Groove, Lost & Found), and not a good one at that. Gone is his trademark whine and sarcasm, replaced by a love for all things from the 1970s including a mullet. The mullet is actually a wig, fused to his skull when he was a child. That's not funny. Dirt is a complete loser, but maintains an unabashed sense of optimism. He is looking for his parents, who apparently ditched him at the Grand Canyon when he was a child. DJ Zander Kelly (Dennis Miller, Murder at 1600, Bordello of Blood) discovers Joe working as a janitor at a radio station, and convinces Joe to relay his story over the air, which prompts the various random reminiscences.

These flashbacks, courtesy of writers Spade and Fred Wolf (Dirty Work, Black Sheep) run the gamut none of them are funny. Joe Dirt works at a crocodile farm. Joe Dirt and a Native American play with fireworks. Joe Dirt works at a school. Joe Dirt meets somebody he thinks is his sister. Throughout it all, the only constants in Joe's life are the search for his parents and his crush for Brandy. Brandy (Brittany Daniel, Sonic Impact, The Basketball Diaries) lives in Silvertown, an idyllic slice of small town America. Joe believes that she is too good for him, and doesn't realize she likes him too. Director Dennie Gordon separates each little 'skit' with a song, usually from the seventies. Toilet humor, inbreeding jokes, near-animal abuse, and other redneck-themed jokes abound.

The main issue with this movie is the Joe Dirt character. He just is not funny. The things he does are not funny. They are annoying. Spade is not playing towards his strengths, and just manages to grate on the audience. Gordon, Spade and Wolf attempt to humanize Dirt by making him so optimistic, but he is such a loser that any positive cancels out. Adam Sandler produced this movie, and it is in the same vein as his movies and his attempts at humor with Rob Scheider. So regardless of what anybody says, their fans will come to see this movie.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 29 minutes, Rated PG-13 for crude and sex related humor, language.

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