Joe Dirt (2001)


Joe Dirt is a 2001 American comedy film starring David Spade, Dennis Miller, Christopher Walken, Brian Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Jaime Pressly, Erik Per Sullivan, Adam Beach and Kid Rock. The film was written by Spade and Fred Wolf.


The film opens at a Los Angeles radio station, where Joe Dirt, (David Spade) works as a janitor and lives in a boiler room in the basement of the studio. When a producer at the radio station discovers Joe getting bullied in the hallway, the producer finds Joe's natural white trash demeanor too over the top to be believed, and insists he be brought into the studio to talk live on the air with a famous disc jockey named Zander Kelly (Dennis Miller). Joe tells his life story, beginning with his being inadvertently left behind by his parents at the Grand Canyon when he was eight. After growing up in a series of bizarre foster homes, Joe finds himself living in the outskirts of the village of Silvertown where he pursues a love interest, Brandy (Brittany Daniel). The local bully Robby (Kid Rock) also has a crush on Brandy but cannot get it through his head that she loves Joe and not him. After a bizarre twist of events leads to the death of Brandy's beloved dog, a reflective Joe feels the need to seek out his parents. The search for his parents leads Joe on a series of adventures, meeting colorful characters like Kicking Wing the Native American fireworks salesman and Charlene the gator farm owner. He lives by working odd jobs. Parodying the lotion scene from The Silence of the Lambs, Joe narrowly escapes death when captured by Buffalo Bob (Brian Thompson). He then ends up in New Orleans where he works as a high school janitor/handyman for a former mobster in the Witness Protection Program, Clem (Christopher Walken). While Zander and the listening audience initially seek amusement at Joe's expense, his optimistic outlook on life and good-natured self deprecation lead to Zander and the audience falling in love with him. Eventually, Joe lands his janitorial job at the Los Angeles radio station where he recounts how, at one point, he decided to give up the search and return to Silvertown to be with Brandy. When he got there, Robby informed him that Brandy found Joe's parents, but instructed Robby not to tell Joe. Robby produced a note from Brandy to prove it. Hearing this, Zander insists on getting Brandy on the phone to find out why she did this. Brandy admits to writing the note to Robby. She did it because she wanted to tell Joe in person, but never had the opportunity. Brandy goes on to tell Joe that his parents were killed the day they were at the Grand Canyon and pleads with Joe to come back to Silvertown. Joe is unaware that recounting his story on the radio has won the hearts of listeners and made him an overnight media sensation. An appearance on TRL with Carson Daly results in a phone call from a woman claiming to be Joe's mother. Joe goes to meet her, but is disappointed to discover that his parents (Fred Ward and Caroline Aaron) are really just using Joe's publicity to help sell her homemade clown figurines, and that they intentionally abandoned him at the Grand Canyon. Angry and sad, he destroys the clown figurines and storms out, effectively cutting his ties with his parents. Depressed, Joe goes to a bridge to commit suicide, but Brandy appears and says that she had told Joe his parents were dead just to protect him when she found out what horrible people they were. A policeman on horseback lassoes Joe's legs with bungee jumping cord to stop him from jumping, but inadvertently pushes Joe over the edge. The bungee cord saves Joe from the fall, but bouncing back upward, he hits his head on the underside of the bridge and is knocked unconscious. Joe wakes up in Brandy's house surrounded by Brandy and other friends he has met on his journey (Kicking Wing, Charlene and Clem (under the name Gert B. Frobe)). Brandy pays the impound lot to get Joe's Plymouth back and she has a new dog, who is the offspring of her deceased dog. Just as they get ready to drive away, Robby suddenly drives by and immediately taunts Joe, saying that no one wants him around in Silvertown, no matter how famous he is. Clem comes to Joe's defense and threatens Robby as Charlene taunts Robby's car. At that point, Joe realizes they are like a family to him. With his new family he rides off into the sunset, leaving a frustrated Robby in the dust, his car now damaged by the rocks Joe's car deflected from the ground.