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Poor White Trash


Poor White Trash

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Trashy starlets past and present converge as the eternally unnerving Sean Young joins mildly creepy sexpot-of-the-moment Jaime Pressly in Poor White Trash, a raucous lowbrow comedy set in the sort of trailer-park dystopia that makes pop-culture phenomena like The Jerry Springer Show possible. Not to be confused with Trash (which also co-starred Pressly) or Andy Warhol's Trash (which did not), Poor White Trash casts Young as the tractor-pull-loving mother of a precocious working-class teen who dreams of studying family counseling at Southern Illinois University. But when illegal mischief puts that dream in danger, Young and her rapidly growing posse decide to finance her son's college career not through grants and loans, but through burglary and armed robbery. Assisted by flamboyantly corrupt lawyer William Devane and fast-food manager Jason London, the team succeeds in pulling off a string of robberies, only to become divided by betrayal, fractured loyalties, and the scheming of Devane's foxy young wife (Pressly). Writer-director Michael Addis has assembled a cast far better than his material deserves, but he strands it in a hit-or-miss comedy where the misses outnumber the hits by a sizable margin. Poor White Trash is proudly, unrelentingly lowbrow, but it moves far too slowly to build comic momentum, a problem exacerbated by Addis' clumsy camera placement and lack of visual style. Without the energy or exuberance that elevates sublime trash above run-of-the-mill exploitation, Poor White Trash sinks into mid-level Troma territory, where sleazy high spirits and the odd clever bit get lost in a sea of dumb gags, puerile self-indulgence, and amateurish filmmaking.