Review: Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

I envy Canada’s health care system, but if Trailer Park Boys: The Movie is any indication, I don’t want to be exposed to their network television. This big-screen spin-off of a seven-years-and-running sitcom I’ve never seen revolves around the ridiculously vain attempts of three Canuck hicks and their entourage of friends to swipe untraceable coins from parking meters and—in a scheme referred to as “the big dirty”—a globe-shaped attraction inside a movie theater. Like Bubbles (Mike Smith), who resembles Truman Capote and sounds like Shaggy with his hand shoved up Scooby-Doo’s ass, the movie defies explanation. The filmmakers appear to be going for a mockumentary effect, but their docu-view of Ricky (Rob Wells) and his struggles to stay out of prison while trying to make a living and wed his honey Lucy (Lucy Decoutere) lacks reason, as in Ricky claiming that no one can put him at the scene of “the big dirty” crime—as if the film’s audience didn’t exist. By having its character acknowledge the camera only during sit-down interviews, the movie oddly adheres to the logic of reality programs like Survivor when it should be pledging allegiance to docu-soaps like The Office, whose characters understand that they are always being watched. At least the trailer-park milieu and performances feel lived in, no doubt the product of years and years of practice, but the humor is still inexplicable and easy, like Ricky’s casual disregard of his possessions when he tosses them from his car and drives away with his friends or his admonishment of his preadolescent daughter for smoking. From strip clubs to belligerent backyard parties, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie plays straight and easily flies over one’s head.

Score: 
 Cast: Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, Mike Smith, Lucy Decoutere, Lydia Lawson-Baird, Cory Bowles, Michael Jackson, Gord Downie, Alex Lifeson, Gerry Dee, Glen Michael Grant, Eugene Clark, Barrie Dunn, John Dunsworth  Director: Mike Clattenburg  Screenwriter: Mike Clattenburg, Robb Wells  Distributor: CAVU Pictures  Running Time: 95 min  Rating: R  Year: 2006  Buy: Video, Soundtrack

Ed Gonzalez

Ed Gonzalez is the co-founder of Slant Magazine. His writing has also appeared in The Village Voice and The Los Angeles Times. He’s a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, the Critics Choice Association, and the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association.

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