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Don’t Legalize It (2014)

by on 2014/11/16

don't_legalize_it_2014“That’s instant karla there, fuckie.”

* *

I grew up around swearing. Lots and lots of swearing. F-bombs, s-bombs and other creative, lovingly-handcrafted strings of expletives. Like the flattened packs of Player’s cigarettes that I drew on, and the velvety purple Crown Royal bags that held my colouring pencils, swears were a big part of my childhood.

Yet, after my recent viewing of Don’t Legalize It, my brain felt a little singed? burned? BBQ’ed? by the raging brush fire of swearing that was this particular movie. There were also frank depictions of drooling alcoholic downward spirals, underwear sniffing and rampant pantlessness.

I like the Trailer Park Boys, I have even evangelized them in mixed company. I really, really do consider myself a fan.

This affection began after Mr. Renders showed me the seasons. The seasons are darned funny.

It did, however, take some persuasion on Mr. Renders’ part to lure me back to the Trailer Park. I was singularly unimpressed by their Christmas Special. I said of the special at the time, “my knuckle-dragging, flannel-wearing, walking brain-stem Grade 9 classmates from rural North Alberta could have created a better Christmas special… with only some smokes, kitten posters, empty boxes and a crowbar.”

That was uncharitable of me. The Trailer Park Boys is overall genuinely good – clever, funny, even warm-hearted and uplifting. But like the Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special, Don’t Legalize It had an undercurrent? overcurrent? of mean-spiritedness.

It was like they decided to pull a Battlestar Galactica and really f*ck with the characters we’ve grown to love. Why? Because feature film.

In this film, Bubbles (Mike Smith) has been burned out of his shed, and he’s living under a trailer porch. He’s a drunk who delivers fried chicken and liquor to his fellow trailer park residents. Julian (John Paul Tremblay) is selling (and frequently covered in) urine.

Ricky (Robb Wells) has lost his father to a propane explosion. Lahey (John Dunworth) has had a stroke and is in love with Julian. Lucy (Lucy Decoutere) is living with a mall cop. Randy (Patrick Roach) has moptop Beatles hair.

The 95-minute runtime is a grim slog through a sewer of failure, parental deaths, despair, addiction and actual sewers.

We had to take a break and watch it over several days. The break didn’t help.

Someone took the ant farm that was the Trailer Park Boys, shook it furiously, dumped it on the road and filmed the result.

* *

95 minutes

Rated 14A (but Jesus flipping Christ don’t show this to your teenagers, eh?)

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