LARRY THE CABLE GUY: HEALTH INSPECTOR (2006)
Starring Larry the Cable Guy, Iris Bahr, Bruce Bruce, Joanna Cassidy, Brooke Dillman, Tony Hale, David Koechner, Lisa Lampinelli, Megyn Price, Tom Wilson, Joe Pantoliano, Kid Rock and Jerry Mathers.
Screenplay by Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer.
Directed by Trent Cooper.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 90 minutes. Rated PG-13.
I am undoubtedly not the target audience for Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. I live in a blue state. I don’t like redneck humor. I don’t like dumb humor. I don’t belong to the NRA. I own no flannel clothing, nor do I own a pick-up. I don’t particularly like Kid Rock. I think fart humor is stupid and I absolutely hate it when movies show people vomiting. I have never seen Larry do stand-up. I think “Git-R-Done” is a dumb catchphrase. I was only sort of impressed by his voice work as Mater in Cars.
So, I have an embarrassing admission to make. I know that Health Inspector is not a good movie, not even close. But I laughed a lot more than I would have ever expected. I may need a shower later, but I can’t deny that Larry can be really funny.
Of course, he can also be extremely disgusting. I went “yuk” probably as often as I chuckled, and that is a big problem with the film. Hilarity and revulsion may both be strong physical reactions, but it doesn’t mean I want to experience them at the same time. So, while I wouldn’t want to go to a Toby Keith concert or a Bush rally with Larry, at home, with the fast-forward button close at hand, he can be kind of entertaining.
Larry is the latest in a long line of proudly stupid comics trying to break out in Hollywood as movie stars – Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Will Farrell, Owen Wilson and many others. Honestly, he is as good as any of those guys, though that is not exactly shooting for the moon.
Health Inspector tries to wring laughs from the idea that the blissfully dirty Larry could be a restaurant health inspector, keeping the people of his unnamed city free from roaches, rat droppings and uni-browed restaurant owners. There is some big food contest where the winning bistro takes away $250,000 and someone is giving food-poisoning to the different cafes that are up for the prize. There is badness going on that may involve the mayor (Joe Pantoliano in a disturbing make-up job which makes him look like a bad wax replica of himself), Larry’s boss (Tom Wilson of Back to the Future) or a fancy restauranteur (Joanna Cassidy of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.)
Don’t even bother paying attention to the plot. There is none, really. What little story there is is ridiculous and makes no sense. But you aren’t going to see a movie called Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector expecting a coherent plot. The cooking contest storyline is a needless distraction, as is the totally unbelievable love subplot. There is way, way too much in the way of fart and vomit humor.
However, when Larry goes on a rant about titties or Boone’s Farm Wine or his pickup, it almost makes up for the lack of story. Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector is as dumb as a stump. It’s also, undeniably, sometimes very funny. (8/06)
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: August 7, 2006.