dir David McNally • scr Gina Wendkos
with Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, John Goodman, Maria Bello, Melanie Lynskey, Tyra Banks, Izabella Miko, Bridget Moynahan, Del Pentecost, Michael Weston, Bud Cort, Leann Rimes
Review by Rich Cline
There are some meaty storylines lurking inside, trying to fool us into taking the film seriously. Violet (Perabo) leaves home in New Jersey to make it in New York as a songwriter. Her widowed dad (Goodman) is naturally worried. But we know Violet is a good songwriter because she's naive, gorgeous and she practices her songs on the rooftop of her dingy apartment building. She also befriends a quirky Australian cook (Garcia) before getting a job at a bar called Coyote Ugly (don't ask), a kind of downmarket Hooters where the barmaids wear very little, dance on the bar and spray the customers with beer. Classy joint. No wonder Dad's worried. But the real question is whether Violet will overcome her debilitating stagefright to get her career off the ground.
That Hollywood continually pumps millions of dollars into these thinly plotted, atrociously conceived projects is a crime. This is a very slickly produced film, embarrassingly easy to watch. The acting isn't bad (Perabo looks startlingly like Julia Roberts), and there's a lot of energy in the whole thing. Goodman even gets a few good lines. But overall the film is so pre-packaged, contrived and manipulative that it's frightening. You can see the germ of a good idea in Wendkos' script, but once Bruckheimer got his paws on it, how could anything even remotely believable or interesting survive? The word gratuitous comes to mind for lots of reasons.
[12--themes, language, innuendo] 14.Aug.00
US release 4.Aug.00; UK release 20.Oct.00
"It is brilliant; really enjoyed it so much I went back the following night. The soundtrack is also brill. Go and watch the film to brighten your life up." --OdnnllE, net.
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