"Coyote Ugly: Unrated Special Edition"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Piper Perabo as VIOLET SANFORD
Adam Garcia as KEVIN O’DONNELL
John Goodman as BILL
Maria Bello as LIL
Izabella Miko as CAMMIE
Tyra Banks as ZOE
Bridget Moynahan as RACHEL
Directed by: David McNalley
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Okay, I’ll be honest. There were certain aspects to “Coyote Ugly” that I loved. It really didn’t have anything to do with direction, writing, acting or plot. It had to do with hot, sexy women dancing on a bar in a wet T-shirt contest.
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In this respect, “Coyote Ugly” was exactly the kind of movie it needed to be. If there were ever a formula for a hit that really didn’t deserve to be one, this is it. Take a script that had strong female characters, add a comic-book reading love interest, and (most importantly) have the girls wear tight clothes and bounce up and down a lot. The softball scene alone did for men what the volleyball scene in “Top Gun” did for women. I’ve discovered a new side of Bridget Moynahan!
Hey, I may be a critic, but I’m not dead from the neck down.
But, aside from the jiggle factor, I wasn’t terribly impressed with “Coyote Ugly.” The story is about a young, naive songwriter named Violet (Piper Perabo) who moves to New York City to find her fame. After spending only minutes in the city, she learns some hard lessons and eventually must take a job at a dive bar to make ends meet. While working there, where the sexy female bartenders shake their stuff as well as pour the booze, she becomes pseudo famous for lip-synching.
As much as I like the dancing ladies in the film, it all is just an excuse. The real story is about how Violet overcomes her fears to sing on stage, while falling in love with a short-order cook. I enjoy the story of someone finding their dream, but I just never bought Violet. She was just too naive. Or too stupid. Or too crippled by stage fright. Or just too silly to really feel sorry for.
The DVD contains the unrated version of the film, which didn’t seem too far off PG-13 ground. It also comes with a nice selection of special features.
The commentary is half-way decent as far as actor commentaries go. In general, it’s held together pretty decently, featuring all the starring women in the cast. It does break down a bit into chit-chat of “this guy was cool” and “he was great.” The only really disappointing part was Maria Bello, who comes across as if she’s still in character. While I have liked her in the past in films like “Payback” and “The Cooler,” she cops an attitude and seems to have something to prove.
Legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director David McNalley also chime into the commentary periodically, mixed from a different session.
Other special features include a LeAnn Rimes music video, the original theatrical trailer, deleted scenes, an silly little action montage that you’ll find on several Jerry Bruckheimer DVDs and a selection of short behind-the-scenes documentaries. These featurettes cover subjects like picking the music, training to be a coyote and casting the film.
I’d heard a lot about this film, and I know it did well, but it just didn’t grab me. Plus, it had a cameo by Michael Bay, and anybody who gives that oaf screen time needs to be punched in the head.
Still, I know this movie was made for a specific audience, and I just am not it.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound. Widescreen (2.40:1), enhanced for 16x9 televisions. French language track. French and Spanish subtitles. English subtitles for the hearing impaired.