Grand Theft Parsons (2004)
One man goes above and beyond the call of duty (and possibly the limits of the law) to give a good friend the final send-off he wanted in this comedy drama, which was inspired by a true story. Phil Kaufman (Johnny Knoxville) is a self-described "road mangler" and "executive nanny" who minds the day-to-day business of a number of rock musicians, including the man he considers his best friend, country rock pioneer Gram Parsons (Gabriel Macht). Kaufman and Parsons share a deep love of the strangely beautiful deserts of California's Joshua Tree Park, and the two made a solemn pledge that whichever man outlived the other would take his dead friend's remains to Joshua Tree and release his spirit by setting fire to the body. When Kaufman gets word that Parsons has died of a drug overdose, he hops on his motorcycle to make good on his promise, but it doesn't take long for matters to get complicated -- Barbara Mansfield (Christina Applegate), one of Gram's many ex-girlfriends, arrives claiming to have a will declaring her the heir to his estate, and she isn't about to let Kaufman get in her way, while Stanley Parsons (Robert Forster), Gram's father, simply wants to pick up his son's body and take him back to New Orleans for burial. Not about to go back on his word, Kaufman has to scramble to claim Gram's body, and is forced to enlist the aid of Larry Oster-Berg (Michael Shannon), a slightly scrambled hippie who owns a hearse. Grand Theft Parsons features a cameo appearance from the real Phil Kaufman, whose autobiography Road Mangler Deluxe provided the basis for the screenplay. … More
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Critic Reviews for Grand Theft Parsons
Inspired by a true story, pic travels down familiar genre highways, but quirky humor and an apt soundtrack make for a pleasant enough journey.
What could have served as a colorful episode in a more expansive film about the famed singer has instead become the premise of a mildly entertaining but overextended road movie that doesn't succeed on either dramatic or comedic terms.
The Phil-Larry dynamic makes up most of the movie and the strain of turning an anecdote into an demi-epic can be felt throughout the movie.
Gram Parsons' last rites were among the most extraordinary in rock history. Too bad this retelling of the singer's final adventure is so tame.
A ho-hum, meandering road movie, albeit with an extremely cool soundtrack.
The script ... leaves a lot to be desired, strewn with dialogue as flat and stale as old beer and some invented characters who make the events depicted seem more silly than anarchic.
Don't let Knoxville's Jackass pedigree put you off - he can be subtle as well as gross.
What I responded to most about Grand Theft Parsons is that it tells the story without excess sentimentality...a funny, engaging movie that's worth seeking out.
Grand Theft Parsons showcases some of Parsons's songs, but ... in the end it is a tribute to a man who stayed true to his word.
A dramatically inert buddy-road picture that's too shapeless to ever click.
It's an aggravating film that seems content to skim the surface before folding up its tent after a scant 88 minutes.
Caffrey keeps the energy level high, and has populated the supporting roles with the most comical-looking character types ever assembled outside of a David Lynch film.
Fans of the low-budget indie scene and rock 'n' roll historians should enjoy this unpretentious, sweet-natured take on an incident that already seemed like something out of the movies.
I can't say that Johnny Knoxville won't one day exhibit some acting scope, but I haven't seen it yet, and that makes a movie hinged on his name and talent a dicey proposition.
Audience Reviews for Grand Theft Parsons
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