If Lionsgate can book Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector in 1,700 locations, you’d think the company could’ve hired a professional crew to shoot this Blue Collar TV multiplex spin-off. Apparently not, because the film is as rough-hewn and out of place as its titular main character, a pot-bellied redneck (Dan Whitney) who enjoys shocking his Big City neighbors with back-country rituals. There’s no reasonable explanation for why a movie about a health inspector is called Larry the Cable Guy, or for the theft of Larry’s undesirable run-down pickup truck and the arbitrary introduction to his arch villains, food-poisoning restaurateurs Lily and Brenda Micelli (Joanna Cassidy and Brooke Dillman), who give themselves away in scene one just by being evil sisters scored to ominous music.
Shoddy screenwriting devices simply pass the time for Whitney to sling hillbilly-isms at admirers of his stand-up comedy, and some of his one-liners admittedly stick, materializing the promise of Jeff Foxworthy’s sympathetically mocking 1993 book You Might Be a Redneck If… Like Foxworthy, Whitney intelligently exaggerates and reworks white trash stereotypes, turning them into affectionate caricatures. When a character scoffs at one of Larry’s wacky euphemisms—bras are “boulder holders”—he throws her another, still crazier euphemism and says finally, in defiance, “I could do this all day,” a repeated catchphrase that undercuts the condescension of typical trailer park comedies by embracing the culture it simultaneously parodies.
Unfortunately, Larry the Cable Guy doesn’t extend the same insight to its tiresome impersonation of a mentally handicapped man (he attempts to play football and throws the ball in his face), though this, like a predictable opening shot of Larry’s hairy ass crack, can be chalked up to the script’s stock studio teen humor rather than Whitney’s own keen comedy. It’s a movie designed to fill the role of stale early-year filler, but the talented cast generously attempts to compensate for Lionsgate’s built-in handicap. By the time the movie finally makes it around to Larry’s obligatory slogan, “Git-R-Done!” Lisa Lampanelli (as the mother of Larry’s love interest) is already devising an entirely original line that vies for quote of the year: “Well, douche me with dishwater!” That’s what I call getting ‘r done.