Projections - Movie Reviews

Coyote Ugly Coyote Ugly

What is Coyote Ugly?  For the new Touchstone film, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by David McNally, it's a club in New York where sexy young women dance on the bar and juggle liquor while men on the prowl gaze at their moves.  The accepted definition as explained to Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo), is much less romantic.  "One wakes up the night after a sexual affair next to a person who is so ugly, it is preferable to chew off your arm, like a Coyote in a trap, rather than have the person who is sleeping on your arm wake up."

Violet moves from New Jersey into a fifth floor walk up in Manhattan, leaving her protective father (John Goodman) at home.  She explains to Dad that she is headed for NYC to sell her music.  Dad disagrees with her decision and she finds New York unsympathetic and the music business filled with Catch 22's.  To support herself she has a little luck and finds a way to replace Zoe (Tara Banks - cover girl for Victoria's Secret) behind and on the bar at Coyote Ugly.

The bar is operated by Lil (Maria Bello), a hard nose business women who fires Violet, who she names Jersey, at least four times.  Each time Jersey finds innovative ways to make money for the bar and is invited back.  The other sexy bar tenders are: Cammie (Izabella Miko) making her film debut, and Rachel (Bridget Moynahan), Mr. Big's fiancee, Natasha on Sex and the City.  They all splash booze on the bar, the floor and over the customers, who pack the place to see the sensual dances the girls carry out periodically on the bar. Violet is of course the shy innocent who must force herself to use innovative seduction to relieve the customers of their money.

Most of the time we see the bar girls dancing, pouring water on them selves a-la-Flashdance, another Jerry Bruckheimer film.  Dumping the profits on the floor while dancing with the bottles of hard liquor appears a strange way to make money at a bar, but Lil the owner loves it, as much as the men and women who part with their dollars to see more.  There is a little romance between      Violet and Kevin (Adam Garcia), a comic book collecting Australian who first meets her by pretending to have connections with music publishers.

Goodman lights up his scenes whether dancing or just eating KFC, which he tells his daughter is "Lean Cuisine".  The young lovers are bland together even in their underwear, and the repetitive bar dancing becomes trite after a while.

As expected, father comes around to support the kid, and she overcomes her shyness by using darkness to get started.  Even Goodman breaks his fatherly timidity and ends up on the bar, up for auction by the slightly older women in the establishment.

The main theme is to show a determined young woman making it with a little help from her friends.  The girls do call the shots and the journey toward success will appeal to young women who dream of success, and romance. The intensity and fun at Coyote Ugly may catch on and boost the careers of the young actresses, but let's hope better parts are in the offering for them in the future.

Coyote Ugly

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