by Jack Sommersby
Makes you wish for the return of the Silent Film era.Excerpts from my most recent confession (I'm not Catholic, nor of any particular religion, but bear with me anyway and kindly play along):
"So Bad, it Howls"
-- Oh, Father, I have most definitely, most certainly, not without a doubt, quintessentially sinned -- I rented this utterly disgraceful movie called Coyote Ugly, which boasted a storyline as enticing and promising as a stomach pump -- because the DVD cover displayed some hot chicks and hinted at a possibly enjoyable, trashy time.
-- I mean, that ultimate producer of the deplorable, Jerry Bruckheimer, who'd previously shown no mercy by inflicting such cinematic garbage like Top Gun and the recent Bad Company on unsuspecting audiences, produced Coyote Ugly, but, still, I didn't think I was too wrong in hoping for a good time from a man who surely sold his soul to Satan years ago to attain his dubious success!
-- Okay, the screenwriter is Gina Wendkos, whose previous credits included such stellar TV programming such as the nauseating My Two Dads. Tither, thine ears were most certainly permanently damaged beyond repair when hearing a character in Coyote Ugly mouth, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you.". If this wasn't enough, when the heroine was sitting in the waiting room of a hospital after her stereotypically good-natured father -- you know, that actor who used to work for a living, John Goodman -- got hit by a car, her best friend, who just hours after getting married, explained why she was there instead of on her honeymoon, "Are you kidding? Danny's been in my family for five minutes; you've been in my family for my whole life." Call me cold-hearted, Father, but I instinctively cringed and felt like puking my guts out at this.
-- All right, well, there was some originality to be found in the movie, right? Right? I mean, the story involves a young, innocent-looking, wide-eyed, small-town girl from New Jersey deciding to fulfill her dream of being a songwriter by moving to -- you'll never guess! -- New York, where, of course, she runs into obstacles right away. (Oh! Did I mention that her father works as a tollbooth attendant? C'mon, you know -- 'deep' symbolism invoking the regret-of-unfulfilled-dreams with those dreams -- Oops! I mean cars -- passing him by every day?
-- Wise me up, Your Holiness, because I thought even someone with Forrest Gump's IQ who was even remotely interested in the music industry would know that she couldn't submit an unsolicited demo tape to a producer without an agent. Are we all dummies on the planet Earth? I mean, didn't she see that movie called Airheads?
-- True, it was more than a bit obvious when the best friend plopped that wad of emergency cash in the heroine's freezer. And, yeah, it came as no surprise in the very, very, very, very least when she discovered later that her rat-infested, rent-inflated apartment had been broken into and this nest egg had been stolen along with her Blondie CD collection and toaster, among other items. But so what? A week later, she apparently trusts her Good Samaritan neighborhood so much so that she leaves her window outside her fire escape open so she can apparently come home to the photogenic sight of a pigeon pecking food off of her sill. Ain't something like that soooooooooo sweet!
-- What else? Oh, did I mention that the lead actress, Piper Perabo, can't act worth a hoot and has been instructed to play her part as Little Bo Lost whereas she still chooses to dress like an unknowing backwater hick without an iota of common sense as to the current 'happening', non-embarrassing fashions as of the 21st Century? You know, she also acts as unconvincingly naive as the nasally-congested Jason Biggs in the atrocious Loser, like she's lived her whole life in a self-enclosed social bubble.
-- The heroine's love interest? Oh, yeah, right -- he's one of those unadultered treasures you find only in the movies. While working an assortment of minimum wage jobs, he somehow manages to dress stylishly, afford a black convertible, and live in the kind of spacious studio apartment that you'd have to cash in your Yahoo! stocks to get your hands on.
-- Other contrivances? Nah! Surely, it was purely coincidental that the night the boyfriend is already irked he turns up at the heroine's club (it's called 'Coyote Ugly' -- yeah, you're catching on!) where she and her barmaids have seen fit to indulge in a PG-13-rated wet T-shirt show for the randy, libidinous customers, which most definitely irks his jealous ire. Who said this movie wasn't absolutely 'happening'! After all, complex characterizations are most definitely etched in instances like the beautiful chicks consistently high-fiving one another! What more do you want -- more than two coherent, non-gag-me-with-a-spoon sentences uttered by either one of them at any given time?!
-- And, whoa, this will really surprise you! The heroine overcomes her stage fright and manages to not just get noticed as a singer/songwriter but jam with the actual Lee Ann Rimes in person in front of an open audience. Bet you never dreamed her dreams would come true, huh?
-- Lastly, did I mention that Coyote Ugly as a whole is mind-boggingly boring, lethargic as a drunken snail, and so certifiably awful that it makes something like Battlefield Earth seem like a model of restraint? Then again, Father, if you were listening to so much as a few measly seconds of this confession, did I really have to?Gag me. Is that clear enough?
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1876&reviewer=327
originally posted: 03/03/03 06:57:43