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Coyote Ugly (2000)

Tonight, theyre calling the shots.

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 100 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13, R (director's cut) UK Certificate: 12


Jerry Bruckheimer is the sort of movie producer who normally loves to pepper his brainless big-bucks blockbusters with giant asteroids hurtling towards the earth, crashing helicopters and men leaping towards the camera in slow motion as an explosion goes off in the background. With ‘Coyote Ugly’, though, he’s managed to back a flick that ignores all of those clichés… and replaces them with some even worse ones (a trying-on-clothes montage, anyone?).

This set-in-stone chick-flick stars Piper Perabo – in what I suppose you’d call her breakthrough role – as perma-smiling New Jersey gal Violet. Her dream is to move to New York City and become a songwriter – bless. So, in an incredible turn of events, she moves to New York City and becomes a songwriter! Unfortunately though, there is a little more to it than that. Because, as we all know, if you really want to make it in the music industry – and I mean REALLY make it – you must work up to it gradually by serving drinks in rowdy bars where the main entertainment is provided by unusually-safe PG-friendly wet t-shirt contests.

Yup, welcome to “Coyote Ugly”, the rubbishly-titled watering hole where our Violet starts to earn a crust. Here, she and her fellow barmaids dress up like hookers and dance around the top of the bar, sometimes even setting fire to it with absolutely, positively, no regard for clearly-stipulated health and safety regulations. Not that I’m complaining, of course, but I’d actually have more respect for the film if it just dumped its nice-girl-gotta-make-a-living pretence and just presented us with an hour-and-a-half of girls strutting suggestively around a pub.

To the flick’s credit, it does contain an enjoyable turn from John Goodman as Violet’s sweaty-faced KFC-guzzling dad, and regardless of Perabo’s limited talents she’s always a nice face to look at. But, aside from the obvious doses of eye-candy, the only thing that keeps this ridiculous movie watchable is the fact that, inadvertently, it’s hilarious. Screenwriter Gina Wendkos has managed to pen some of the most atrocious dialogue ever spoken on-screen (whenever anyone in the bar orders water, everyone in the place chants “Hell no, H2O!”), and director David McNally displays all the behind-the-camera panache of a man with no thumbs (his only other existing credit to date is Kangaroo Jack – I’m sure you’ll all agree, it’s a cracking resume!). The story is daft, the characters as one-dimensional and under-developed as you’ll see outside ‘Showgirls’, and the climax rushed beyond comprehension. This might not be an “Ugly” movie, but it definitely is a bad one.

It's Got: Four Oscars for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Original Score. Nah – actually, I’m lying.

It Needs: A reinforced bar-top for one of John Goodman’s latter scenes.

DVD Extras Trailers, audio commentary, three short ‘Search for the Stars’ featurettes, four additional scenes, an “action” montage, LeAnn Rimes’ ‘Can’t Fight the Moonlight’ video, a 2-minute ‘Coyote 101’ featurette, and a look ‘Inside the Songs’ (revealing where the inspiration came from for such incredible lyrics as “Baby you’re the right kind of wrong” and “You can’t fight the moonlight”). Version reviewedCoyote Ugly DVD Extras Rating: 6/10


You know the sort of film that’s so bad you’ll chew your own arm off just to get away from it? That’s ‘Coyote Ugly’.