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Joe Dirt

Director:Dennie Gordon
Writers:David Spade and Fred Wolf
Columbia Pictures; PG-13; 93 minutes
Release:4/01
Cast:David Spade, Dennis Miller, Brittany Daniel

It should come as no surprise that lowbrow comedy champ Adam Sandler executive produced Joe Dirt. Although David Spade co-wrote and stars in the film, his character comes straight from Sandler's costume box. Hapless Joe Dirt (Spade) is pure trailer trash, and sports a mullet haircut to prove it. Highlights of his janitor life include on-air confessional sessions with a local DJ (Dennis Miller) that transform Dirt into a cult hero. Make no mistakes, however: Joe has it tough. His parents abandoned him when he was 8, and the atrocious coiffure is stuck to his head because Joe was born without a skull. If only Mr. Dirt had some of his creator's barbed wit, things might not be so difficult for Joe. They would certainly be easier on the viewer, who must sit through 90 minutes of sentimentalized backwoods humor. The most unnerving thing about these movies is that they operate as if laughable ignorance was synonymous with sincerity. Those drawn to Spade's irony and sharpshooting pop culture jabs will be disappointed by his Sandler-esque performance here, playing the dimwit hero who tugs at the heartstrings a little too hard.


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