The real Coyote Ugly bar hits the big screen in the form of a love story about a hopeful song writer and an Australian outcast, and the results are mixed.
Coyote Ugly is a half and half film, meaning that half of the movie leans towards one audience while the other half sways towards another. And, unfortunately for Coyote Ugly, those two audiences happen to men and women. Basically, the film is a chick flick with a love story, a daughter who is trying to work things out with her father, and a songwriting career on the horizon. There are some sappy scenes between the two lovers, some heartbreaks, and other stuff that usually exists in romances... The stuff that bores men to tears.
On the other hand, Coyote Ugly is anything but ugly in terms of its cast. Piper Perabo, the star of the show, has a lot more things going for her than a sweet singing voice, and it is quite obvious why she got this part. There's barely an ugly woman in the whole movie, and every bar scene has "the girls" shaking their stuff on top of the counter. This is the stuff that the guys like, and that the women don't.
It is an endless cycle; the guys want to go by themselves to enjoy the pretty cast, but then they turn out to be a group of guys who have wandered into a chick flick. The women who go by themselves will like it more but still wonder why they are forking out money to see other women promote their bodies. And it's not really a good date movie, either, because the guy will be embarrassed to be watching what he wants to watch, and the woman will be annoyed that he is very attentive during some scenes and sleeping in others.
Most of the male audience will also be turned off by the PG-13 rating, which basically ruins their chances of seeing anything they wanted to see; nudity, sex, and nudity. They should be. Coyote Ugly does have a lot of sexy moments, and Piper Perabo is pretty much dazzling through the whole film, but there isn't anything that would offend a parent who took her child too much.
The romance element isn't very good either, and that will deter some of the female audience. There are so many romances and romance comedies out there that Coyote Ugly is sure to get lost in the crowd, because it has nothing new to offer. In fact, it isn't that romantic. The two lovers, Perabo and Garcia, are playfully insulting each other the entire time but never really creating great chemistry. Women will like Garcia and his Australian accent, though. When the plot strikes that time where everything goes badly, things pick themselves back up without really explaining why, or creating much character.
Coyote Ugly does have some funny moments, and those are highlighted by John Goodman. In fact, he's the only character that really seems like a real person. He's stern at times but he also is one of the most comical characters in the movie. The one-liners and physical gags revolve around him like moons to a planet (no offense, John, but somewhat literally), and whenever he was in the movie, I knew I could sit back and laugh.
Coyote Ugly is an entertaining and fairly sexy movie, but it is boring in parts and doesn't really have the action that the audience wants. It isn't ugly but it isn't that pretty, either.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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