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Coyote Ugly (2000)
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Review Date: August 02, 2000
Director: David McNally
Writer: Gina Wendkos
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman
Actors:
Piper Perabo
Adam Garcia
Maria Bello
Plot:
A small-town girl moves to the big city with hopes and dreams of making it as a singer/songwriter. But when times get tough, she gets a job at a local, rowdy bar and starts kinda liking her new digs. At the same time, she falls for a guy who's intent on helping her singing career take off.
Critique:
Uneven. Splashed with various energetic bar scenes, this movie loses power when focusing on its sappy plotline. Its awesome soundtrack makes you want to get up, toss a few shots back and grab your neighbor by the hand, but not before the awful music sung by the main character drains us right out of it again. Boy, I sooooo wish this movie took place entirely in the bar, focused more on all of the girls and included some authentic swearing and sexual gratuity (okay, maybe not so much the last two items, but definitely the first two!). Unfortunately, the high energy of the bar, its music, its bartenders and its clientele are a lot of fun to watch when they do frolic across the big screen, but the sad-sack love story and regurgitated "I wanna be a star" byline, just zoom you right back down this rollercoaster ride. And where the hell was Tyra Banks?!? How dare the filmmakers spray her assets across the posters, the website, the TV commercials and barely give her ten minutes of screen time? More Tyra, people!! And what about the rest of the girls? They're all so pretty but what's their story? God knows, because this movie focuses solely on the lead big-lipped girl named Piper Perabo, a semi-interesting character, who unfortunately is not enough to carry an entire movie.

I will offer my thumb up to this film's extremely potent soundtrack, the excellent gritty look and feel of New York City, the bar itself, and its high, high energy level when in the bar! Too bad that my thumb has to do a loop-de-loop for the film's stinky "real music" sung by the lead, the by-the-numbers story of her trying to "make it in the big city" and the lack of character development for any of the other girls! (they're people, too...sniff, sniff). If you really want to see a good movie about a small-town girl trying to break into the music biz, rent THE THING CALLED LOVE, a wonderful drama featuring River Phoenix's final performance, and thank me in the morning (Note: the music in that film is country...you have been warned). Overall, I really liked the performances in this film: Maria Bello was perfect as the tough lady running the unruly bar, Perabo was good, but after seeing her in ROCKY & BULLWINKLE (4/10), I'm hoping that she gets rid of that "confused, shy" look real fast, cause it's already getting old. The Australian love-interest was also effective and John Goodman perfect as the overweight daddy with a big heart. And look for a very funny scene featuring Ellen Cleghorne as a pissed-off secretary. You go, girl!

In the end, I would probably recommend this movie to anyone who doesn't mind being titillated for little bits and pieces, only to be brought back down by the reality of the very hokey plot. Great fashions, great soundtrack...the bar scenes alone might actually be worth it, but prepare to take those blue balls home, fellas!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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