Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

Dir: Mike Clattenburg
Star: John-Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells, Mike Smith, Lucy De Couture

Based on an immensely-popular Canadian TV series, this follows the lives of three losers as they try to make the big score that will, if not quite set them up for life, pay their trailer-park dues for a number of months. Think of this as COPS from the point of view of the petty criminals, if you will. The trio are fabulously-drawn characters: Ricky [Wells] is the driving force, despite his throwback haircut; Julian [Tremblay] is happier ripping off parking meters for quarters because they're untraceable, a rum and coke permanently in his hand; Bubbles [Smith] is a sandwich short of a picnic, happy to live in a shack with his troupe of performing cats. And around them are an equally-bizarre troupe, from the alcoholic trailer-park manager, through Ricky's father, who is a fake paraplegic, to white rapper J-Roc and his upcoming adult film, Fire Hoes.

It's often a very dry, understated humor to be found here, yet I still found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasion, despite the lack of actual 'jokes'. This relies to a much greater extent on the relationship between the parts and the situations which result, and works very nicely as a result. Bubbles, in particular, is a fabulous comic creation, reminiscent of a kinder, gentler Milton from Office Space. I am not quite convinced that there's enough material here for a full feature - perhaps an inevitable result of expanding from a 30-minute TV show, as Reno 911! found - and some characters seem to serve no purpose, being present apparently because they were in the show. Its subtleties will also make unlikely to repeat its Canadian success, where it was #1 at the box-office. America seems to prefer its comedy more like Meet the Spartans, and that's probably why we rarely go to see comedies at the cinema. If you're looking for an alternative, something a little quirkier, this will do very nicely.

February 2008

Park Life
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