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.~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Rated PG-13 for drug references and some language.