Piper Perabo , Maria Bello , John Goodman , Melanie Lynskey , Adam Garcia . Directed by David McNally
Velvet-voiced, 21 year-old Violet Sanford heads to New York to pursue her dream of becoming a songwriter. She finds her aspirations sidelined by the notoriety she receives in her "day" job as a sexy barmaid in the hip nightclub Coyote Ugly in lower Manhattan. The most surprising thing about this film is how good it really is. It's easy to dismiss a movie like Coyote Ugly for all the obvious reasons: Sexist, simpistic, manipulative and hokey. It's all those things that high minded critics abhor. Yet at the same time, here is a movie that is what it is, and makes no pretence to being a contrary work of art. What exists in Coyote Ugly, is a film with heart, humour and old fashioned sensibilities. First time director David McNally,delivers a visually showy work that is fun to watch. There's nothing earnest in his vision, instead this is a simple romantic fairy tale, one that we've seen before but works on its own innocent level.
Lead actress Piper Perabo is a charming screen presence, that deft combination of naivety and worldliness, and she beautifully exudes both on the screen. In her, stardom is close at hand. Aussie Adam Garcia actually plays an Australian character, and he's wonderful: Laconic and heartfelt.
It's a nice performance, while veteran actor John Goodman, not surprisingly steals the film as Violet's blue-collar dad.
Shot and edited in a punchy, MTV style, Coyote Ugly features a superb soundtrack that also manages to enhance the narrative.
While yes, there's no doubt that this is a film that is unashamedly commercial, it's a pleasantly unpretensious diversion that relies on colourful characters not visual effects to entertain its audience.
- Paul Fischer