He's the wrong person, at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Joe Dirt is a janitor with a mullet hairdo, acid-washed jeans and a dream to find the parents that he lost at the Grand Canyon when he was a belligerent, trailer park-raised eight-year-old. Now, blasting Van Halen in his jacked-up economy car, the irrepressibly optimistic Joe hits the road alone in search of his folks. As his wandering, misguided search takes him from one hilarious misadventure to another, Joe finds his way to Los Angeles, where a shock-jock brings Joe on his radio show to insult him. But as Joe's life story unfolds, jeers turn to cheers, and an entire captivated city tunes in to hear the adventures of Joe Dirt.
"Joe Dirt" stars a self-consciously poignant David Spade as a man who was abandoned by his parents during a family trip to the Grand Canyon when he was a boy. When he emerged from digging through a garbage can, he was alone. He's spent the rest of his life trying to find his family, a feat made all the more difficult because he can't remember his last name, which isn't really Dirt. The film, written by Mr. Spade and Fred Wolf, teeters on the fine line between condescending and corrupt, because it makes fun of Joe, who is a hapless trailer denizen, but also wants us to feel sorry for him. Elvis Mitchell
2001-04-11 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of Joe Dirt