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Coyote Ugly  

Violet (Piper Perabo)
Lil (Maria Bello)
Bill Sanford (John Goodman)
Zoe (Tyra Banks)
Kevin (Adam Garcia)
Rachel (Bridget Maynahan)

Directed by David McNally Written by Gina Wendkes

Rated PG-13 for sensuality
Running Time: 101 minutes Distributed by Touchstone Pictures
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Coyote Ugly is a hip film with a dense plot and fast dancing. The film centers on the character of Violet Sanford (Perabo). At the beginning of the film, Violet leaves her New Jersey home and heads to New York to become a songwriter. She finds her aspirations sidelined by the notoriety she receives in her new job as a barmaid at the hopping nightclub Coyote Ugly. The club features a ream of sexy, enterprising young women who tantalize customers and the media alike with their outrageous antics. Along the way, Violet hooks up with an adventurous Australian, Kevin (Garcia), who intends to help Violet get over her problem with stage fright.

Coyote Ugly is an okay film that tried to be a coming of age story. But the real point of the film is watching beautiful women dance and get down in a wild atmosphere.

Gina Wendkos' script for the film is modest and gets to the point. The sequencing is slow, but the quick dance and bar scenes overshadow the molasses of the film. The stage fright conflict of Violet's character works well in a film like Coyote Ugly. It is the center of the story that connects all the characters and subplots together. Also, the characters are pretty well sketched, especially Violet's father (Goodman).

David McNally direction in Coyote Ugly is distinctly colorful. He captures the rowdy and fast dance atmosphere of the bar. Then he tones down the energy a level for the love scenes with Violet and Kevin along with the dramatic and humorous scenes between Violet and her Dad. McNally direction is nothing special, but it is simple.

John Goodman practically steals this movie. He is funny and touching as Violet's overprotective father, Bill. Goodman is almost always enjoyable and he just keeps delivering good performances one after another. Piper Perabo is a lot better than she was in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, in which I really butchered her performance. She has the smile and the eyes of a star, but it seems to me that there is still something missing in her acting. Another Australian actor, Adam Garcia, breaks into Hollywood with his performance as the likeable Kevin. He is no where near the range of fellow Australians Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Heath Ledger, but he will be an okay actor. As far as the rest of the cast, which includes Maria Bello, Tyra Banks and Bridget Moynahan, they are just in the film to look pretty for the audience.

Coyote Ugly is a film that most audiences will enjoy. Women will love the dancing and men will love the women of Coyote Ugly. So it is a win-win situation for both sexes.

Report Card Grade: C+

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