I wish there are words to describe how truly
awful this piece of cinema is. Unfortunately, what follows will have to do. Coyote Ugly is
as bad as it is appealing to its adolescent audience. It's nothing more than a juvenile
fantasy about women that dance on the bar and a fairy tale about a young songwriter from a
small town that tries to make it in a big bad city. It's no "Flashdance"; it's
not even "Cocktail." Heck, it doesn't know what it is itself.
songwriter has a dad (John Goodman) who doesn't approve of her leaving the home. She has a
fear of performing her songs (how she has no trouble singing along Blondie's CD in a
skimpy outfit in front of a barful of half-drunk men. She falls in love with a guy, the
refreshing Australian Adam Garcia, but breaks up with him when he sees where she works.
And the place she works in, based on the actual New York bar, is a hole in the wall where
men drool beer while watching sexy bartenders strut their stuff in between pouring shots.
These young women throw ice on customers who have had one too many, spray anyone who
orders water, make their own laws, break their own rules. After the second dance on the
bar, you have to start wondering when will the movie make these gorgeous women in
revealing clothes appear boring. And don't worry, it won't be long.
Ugly cannot decide whether it is about the bar, or about the love story or about the
Cinderella songwriter story. The script is full of logical storyline holes (Tyra Banks
mysteriously disappears, but reappears, equally mysteriously, at the end), juvenile
simplifications and corniest cliches ever. The dialogue contains every cheesy one-liner
you can think of, including sentences that start with, "Sorry to burst your bubble,
but...". The movie is rated PG-13, as the ultimate teaser, but recklessly promotes
drinking, and its highly suggestive choreography degrades female sexuality more than a
mountain of porn magazines, deserving an R. Piper Perabo's acting is so bad, she's up
there with Elizabeth Berkeley from "Showgirls" in contention for "Worst
Female Lead Actress Ever." John Goodman is OK in comic situations, but horrible when
he has to deliver the pathos of a single father. What somehow brings Coyote Ugly to the
level of a real movie (as opposed to a music video or a commercial for leather pants) is
the soundtrack, which includes four songs sung by LeAnn Rimes in the lead character. LeAnn
appears shortly in the movie, as another screenplay screwup. She is barely 18 and she
still gets into a rowdy place that serves alcohol to sing a duet with Perabo on top
of the bar, of course.