A golden trailer park

By Christian Louden

Mike Clattenburg’s come a long way from getting drunk in a trailer park and filming a mockumentary TV show based on outrageous characters with no real goals in life aside from getting drunk and smoking weed. Well, at least ostensibly.
The Trailer Park Boys are heading to the big screen in Trailer Park Boys: The Movie, and the drunken antics of the Boys are as outrageous as ever. After being released from prison for stealing hundreds of cartons of cigarettes, Ricky and Julian return home to Sunnyvale to see that things have been flipped upside down—Mr. Lahey quit drinking, Ricky’s daughter is stealing barbeques and selling them at the flea market and Lucy’s got a new job at a strip joint.

“I like to start with a bunch of what-ifs,” Clattenburg says. “And then up the ante.”

What if Mr. Lahey stopped drinking? What if Lucy started stripping? And then all you’ve got to do—as Clattenburg notes—is up the ante; Lucy’s got a new set of breasts and is back with her lesbian girlfriend. Mr. Lahey’s sobriety causes him to go on a rampage and he starts drinking more than ever before. It’s easy to credit Clattenburg, the writer/director, with the comedy gold, but he humbly claims the actors are equally responsible.

“I like to write to actors, write to their strengths,” says Clattenburg. “The actors bring so much nuance to the characters, so much of themselves.”
Surprisingly, there’s a lot more to the film and series than the obvious slap-stick comedy. Ricky, for example, is a lot cleverer than he appears to be. In the same way Wile E. Coyote almost captures the Road Runner, Ricky often finds himself in trouble with the law, and always manages some genius way to almost find his way out.

“Ricky is a smart guy who has never learned anything,” says Clattenburg. “They’re complex characters that I think people can relate to.”
Undoubtedly, this unseen depth accounts for the wild popularity of the show across the country, continent, and even across the pond. Many would be quick to write the show and movie off as stupid humour, or some trite diversion. Its wide-reaching popularity, though, could suggest otherwise.
“I think [the film] will travel internationally and bring a whole new audience to the show,” says Clattenburg. “I never expected to be getting email from the U.K., Australia and around the world.”

Despite it’s inherent sillyness, the television show has always been known for having relatable characters and they translate to the big screen well. Clatternburg claims the emotional honesty that makes his over-the-top protagonists work comes from his own childhood.

“I grew up in a dysfunctional family, with lots of love around me,” says Clattenburg. “I heard so much swearing around me growing up that I guess I just started to find it funny.”

And if the show’s high ratings are any indication, scatalogical humour still holds some appeal. Fuckin’-A.

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie opens in theatres everywhere Fri., Oct. 6. Leave your lawn chairs and coolers in your yard with the car parts.

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