Coyote Ugly Movie Review

To understand the horror of Coyote Ugly is to understand how it was made.

It's 1993. Some Hollywood bigshot reads an article in GQ magazine about a nutty bar called the Coyote Ugly in Manhattan. They only have women bartenders, see, and they, like, dance on the bar with fire and stuff! And they don't serve water. If someone orders water they hose down the crowd! Holy mackerel, what a nutty place!

And then someone says, What a nutty place... for a movie! Cart in a screenwriter who invents a story about, say, a puppy-eyed girl from New Jersey who winds up working at the Ugly while trying to make it as a songwriter. Make up some obstacles: she has stage fright, she gets robbed, and her dad is fat. Pop in a troubled love interest. Toss in a bunch of heaving-bosomed women to dance on the bar, get Jerry Bruckheimer to produce, spend $40 million on advertising, and the movie's done!

But oops, someone forgot to make the movie any good along the way. Cliché-infested and so utterly tired and worn out as to make itself appear a relic of the early 1980s, Coyote Ugly is just plain bad. It almost seems like they decided to take a real-life place and tried to build a movie around it. Er, uh, wait a minute...

Piper Perabo, one of the most frightening newcomers to hit Hollywood in the last decade, plays our young heroine, who faces obstacle after obstacle en route to what must ultimately become ridiculous success beyond her wildest dreams. Note to Piper: Let's see if we can't dye the eyebrows to match the hair, shall we? Perabo's role is so badly acted it would be cause for raspberries galore were it not for an even worse script.

Newcomers like Adam Garcia (the love interest) and wannabes like Maria Bello (the bar owner) do their best with lines like "I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you," but to no avail. Their hearts aren't in the movie, and for good reason: No nudity.

Er, I mean: A really awful story that feels ripped from The Bold and the Beautiful. Does fat dad (John Goodman) really need to be hospitalized to build drama? Would someone really rob poor Piper's rodent-infested Chinatown apartment? Would anyone really stop fighting in an all-out bar brawl to listen to the girl sing-along with the jukebox? I'd say all that was missing in Coyote Ugly was a wedding, but they squeezed one of those in there too.

For those not following along, Bruckheimer is essentially trying to remake his own Flashdance, which made an incredible $95 million back in 1983. They even dump water on the bartenders, "Maniac" style. And I think it's safe to predict that Perabo's career will likely follow that of her predecessor, Jennifer Beals. In other words: Hello, Cinemax!

Come to think of it, that's probably where most people will end up seeing this movie.

One of the strangest "unrated" edition DVDs to come along -- ever. For starters, the original was only rated PG-13. Nevertheless, this rendition is far raunchier, with a restored sex scene with Perabo and Garcia, and more profanity, especially in the songs. Alas, anyone expecting that scandalous orgy with the Coyote girls is going to be sorely disappointed. Deleted scenes and a commentary track (from just about everyone involved in the film) highlight the extras. A handful of featurettes and documentaries round out the disc. Strangely recommended or not. Or something.

She's a maniac on the bar.

Comments

Coyote Ugly Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG-13, 2000

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