HBO's "Entourage" is a great show for many reasons, but if you ask 100 people why they like it, 50 are going to going to say "Ari Gold." The other 50 are going to say "Jeremy Piven." After years of supporting roles, dating all the way back to Say Anything, Piven finally gets a leading role in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard. Unfortunately, the movie isn't particularly memorable.
Harkening back to the comedies of the 90's, The Goods is a comedy full of sleazy but likable protagonists and goofy, R-rated shenanigans. It's full of the stereotypical bunch, ranging from the jackass boss, the crazy old guy, the slutty female coworker, the retarded guy and the hot love interest who's dating the love-to-hate-him bad guy. You're not going to get originality here, nor should you expect it.
The Goods has… the goods to be funny, and at times it is, but it suffers from the fact that it was released ten years too late. Comedies like this thrived in the 90's, relying more on situation and circumstance than plot or dialogue. But in the day and age of Knocked Up and The Hangover, where sharp dialogue is tickling people's funny bones, The Goods just doesn't cut it.
Furthermore, it denies Jeremy Piven his bread and butter: the fast-talking onslaught of over-the-top dialogue that he can craft into a breathless stream of jokes and one-liners. He has his moments, but his character feels like a watered down Ari Gold, and to Ari Gold he will always be compared. Other actors suffer similar fates: Ed Helms (The Hangover) comes off as an unfunny version of his "The Office" character, Ving Rhames is dull and David Koechner is surprisingly subdued. In other words, we've all seen these actors funnier in other roles.
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard is watchable, but it feels out of date. Fans of silly comedies of "old" may find some things to like, but will still agree it's too little, too late.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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