January 31, 2008 / 8:52 PM / 10 years ago

"Trailer" a shaky construction of ramshackle laughs

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

The Trailer Park Boys (L-R) Ricky (played by Rob Wells), Bubbles (Mike Smith) and Julian (John Paul Tremblay) arrive for the red carpet premiere of "Trailer Park Boys: the Movie" in Toronto October 3, 2006. REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski

By Frank Scheck

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - One of the less felicitous cultural exports in its history, the Canadian-made “Trailer Park Boys: The Movie” demonstrates that the country that has contributed so much to comedy isn’t exactly infallible in its instincts.

Based on a long-running hit cable television series about a trio of low-rent scammers, the film broke opening-weekend boxoffice records in its native country but is unlikely to reap similar success on these shores despite boasting such executive producers as Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock.

Told in a half-hearted, semi-mockumentary style in which the characters occasionally deliver direct addresses to the camera, the story revolves around the latest scheme of Ricky (Robb Wells, who also co-scripted with director and series creator Mike Clattenburg) and his hapless criminal cohorts to achieve a big score and move out of their trailer park located in the fictional Nova Scotia burg of Sunnyvale.

The gang’s unofficial leader is the fast-talking stoner Ricky, who has just gotten out of prison after serving a stint for robbing some ATMs. Ricky — whose kleptomaniac daughter, Trinity (Lydia Lawson-Baird), clearly has inherited his criminal genes — is desperate to reunite with his ex-wife, Lucy (Lucy DeCoutere), who in his absence has become a stripper, complete with new boobs and a new boyfriend.

Joining him in his plan to rob a local movie theater of a giant display of loose and untraceable small change are the perpetually drunk Julian (John Paul Tremblay) and the myopic Bubbles (Mike Smith), who lives with an ever-growing menagerie of kittens.

While there’s a genuine sweetness to much of the proceedings — especially the besotted Ricky’s attempts to woo back his ex and his equally desperate efforts to get back into prison so he can engage in a long-awaited hockey game against the guards — the humor is strictly of the ramshackle variety. Featuring copious amounts of profanity and casual drug use, the less-than-sophisticated “Trailer Park Boys” is not likely to become a promotional tool of the Canadian tourist board.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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