Poor White Trash (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is an independent screwball comedy which has virtually no theatrical release ($3,200 domestic gross), but is actually pretty funny and even has a full-length commentary on the DVD!

Divorcee Sean Young (her ex is a professional wrestler) is the white trash mother of a boy in crisis. The lad has some brains, and could go to college and major in psychology, as he and his mother have planned, but right now he doesn't have any money and is just hanging out with his best friend and getting in trouble.

The best friend is sort of the white trash Eddie Haskell. "Mrs B, may I say that you not only are the best mother I know, but have the best rack I've ever seen on a woman over 30"

As the film begins, the lad and his best friend are pouring real beer into "near beer" bottles in a convenience store, so they can buy a six pack. When the clerk ticks them off, they end up placing an inflatable doll and a firebomb in his car, thereby getting him out of the store long enough so that they can shoplift what they need. The plan backfires, they end up in court, defended by a drunken lawyer (Tim Kazurinsky- remember him from SNL?) because the sober lawyers are out of their price range. They are in some serious trouble.



Jaime Pressly, in the bad girl role she now has perfected, doesn't get naked, but appears in a skimpy bikini

They need to raise enough money to hire a good lawyer and pay for college tuition, so there's only one solution: a crime spree. Mom and her boyfriend agree to help. Their first small heists earn enough to hire a competent lawyer, who is actually the best friend's grandpa, proprietor of the mallfront legal enterprise called "Uncle Ron's Land o' Law".

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1, fairly solid transfer

  • Full-length commentary by the director and Sean Young

Turns out Grandpa Ron is the biggest criminal in town, and the absolute king of white trash (he has a lawn sculpture garden made entirely of Budweiser cans, all assembled in front of his deluxe trailer). The hilariously profane Grandpa Ron is played by William Devane.

I'm almost ashamed to admit I got a kick out of this unheralded, generally dumb comedy. The performances were good, the characterizations were pretty sharp, there are some genuinely funny situations, and Devane is hilarious. The biggest surprise was Sean Young. While I haven't much liked her in previous comedies, she nailed this role.

(Look for one robbery where they use numbers instead of names, similar to the code colors in Reservoir Dogs. Remember this is a family robbing together - "Number 3, don't you talk to number 1 like that." They rob a fast-foot joint, and also have the kids cook them some burgers and fries for the ride home.) 

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 40% positive overall (2 out of five), 0% from the top critics (only one review).

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.1 
  • With their dollars ... essentially no theatrical release. (Two screens in December , one in February)
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Don't be fooled by the IMDb score. It's a solid lowbrow comedy.

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