Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector
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"He's loud. He's gross. He's rude." That's only a sampling of how straight-laced health inspector Amy describes her uncouth partner, Larry. Despite relishing his "unsophisticated" ways of all things redneck and earning a reputation for breaking rules, Larry has somehow managed to keep his government job.
What's an even bigger surprise is that Larry is personally selected by the city's mayor to investigate a series of food sabotage cases at several prestigious restaurants. With a $250,000 contest for the top chef at stake, it's obvious someone is trying to take out the competition.
After solving the mystery, Larry asks his boss to give Amy a promotion.
When his beloved truck is stolen and then shows up undamaged, Larry claims it as a "miracle from the Lord Jesus above" and says he'll start going to church. His reaction is similar when a supposed paraplegic suddenly gets up out of his wheelchair. The occurrence not only draws the predictable "It's a miracle! Praise the Lord!" but also leads Larry to ask his more level-headed partner (who sees through the scam) why she's such an atheist. More than a couple of times he says of a bad situation, "That ain't Christian." After someone comments negatively about a certain wine, Larry argues that "people been drinking [it] ever since the good Lord cometh on the Mayflower years ago."
Virtually every one of the movie's 89 minutes is filled with either lame gross-out jokes or lewd quips, references and sight gags. The camera focuses on Larry's sheet-covered erection as he wakes up from a dream. It takes the same approach when the mayor ogles his secretary's cleavage. The letch is later caught staring at another woman's chest in front of his own wife and kids. Crude dialogue revolves around anatomical parts and bodily functions. Masturbation. Oral sex. Strippers and strip clubs. Sex toys. Homosexuality. If it's perverse, it's probably here.
A couple of women show cleavage, and some suggestive, innuendo-filled artwork gets highlighted. Larry goes shirtless or dresses in women's clothing in a few scenes. He ogles a woman putting lingerie on a storefront mannequin. As she falls and overturns a rack of women's underwear, we see piles of skimpy lingerie and listen as Larry shares a variety of alternative names for bras. The camera twice zooms in on his backside as he bends over. A chef grabs his crotch.
Larry and Amy both engage in scuffles with a restaurant owner and her daughter. Punches are thrown, bodies are tossed against walls and Larry gets his head shoved into a toilet bowl. In return, he hits a woman over the head with a bathroom diaper-changing table. After getting tossed in the air, an IV needle lands in the shoulder of an assailant. Larry and his boss exchange blows to the throat that are played off as hurtful yet ultimately not that dangerous.
Larry's mentally challenged neighbor repeatedly hits himself in the face or crotch while playing with a soccer ball. Another man gets the same treatment. A restaurant owner tosses Larry into a pile of garbage outside his establishment. A diner owner slips and falls.
Crude or Profane Language
The s-word is uttered three times, as are more than 60 other profanities and crude terms (including harsh slang for breasts and other sexual body parts). God's name is misused more than half-a-dozen times, while Jesus' gets inappropriately mentioned four times.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Larry likes his booze and, to drown his sorrows one night, gets drunk. On top of acting intoxicated, he's shown surrounded by piles of emptied beer cans. Larry and a co-worker go to a bar, where the hillbilly downs a froth-filled mug. Bottles of alcohol are shown all around. Other scenes involve a restaurant owner discussing, storing or offering patrons various types of wine. The health inspector mentions a chef dealing drugs in his kitchen.
Other Negative Elements
It's as if Health Inspector set out to achieve some sort of record for most gaseous moments recorded on film. Passing gas becomes something of a foul-smelling (and -sounding) motif. Both Larry and Amy end up on the toilet after a restaurant's food gives them, shall we say, some unexpected problems. People are shown throwing up at various times, and the camera watches Larry urinating while taking a shower (shown at floor level).
The comedian's coarse commentary and irreverent zingers range from multiple terms for defecating to insensitivity toward a disabled co-worker. "Nobody leaves a bigger destruction in his wake," Larry's boss fittingly says of him. Larry is also known to often bend the rules for restaurants that treat him nicely, and he admits to overlooking the "small things" while conducting inspections.
The city mayor, who's married, is not only known for having multiple affairs, he's also prone to using his position to pull strings. A former Hollywood star gambles over the phone.
In the mold of a Saturday Night Live sketch-turned-movie, Health Inspector was obviously not given the green light based on its plot. Instead, those funding this project were banking on Larry the Cable Guy simply doing what Larry the Cable Guy always does: act like a "redneck fool." And factoring in the comedian's past success with the Jeff Foxworthy-led Blue Collar Comedy Tour—which spurred two chart-topping comedy albums, a multiplatinum DVD special, two live-concert movies, a WB-TV show and even a best-selling book—who can blame them?
Sometimes, however, you just gotta know when to fold 'em. Larry's feature film debut does little more than demonstrate, in a big way, just how weak his 'cause-I'm-dumb material is. Add a ceaseless flow of bawdy good-ol' boy quips and it's not just unfunny, it's obnoxious. As Larry says during a scene, "You want to close your eyes and pretend it's not happening."
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Larry the Cable Guy as Larry; Iris Bahr as Amy Butlin; Megyn Price as Jane Whitley; Tom Wilson as Bart Tatlock; Joanna Cassidy as Lili Micelli
Trent Cooper ( )