An ugly world full of heart is where the dreams of a young lady can come true.
“Coyote Ugly” is the latest film from production genius Jerry Bruckheimer. It tells the sweet innocent tale of a New Jersey girl named Violet (Piper Perabo) who has a big dream of making it big as a song writer. Violet’s only problem is that she has terrible stage fright which she believes originated with her mother. She delivers herself deep into the heart of the Big Apple and is convinced that someone will want to sing her songs one day.
Like all dreamers she learns that overnight success never comes and it will take a pretty good job to stay in the Big Apple full time. While sulking she stumbles upon a couple self-assured women who are making a killing. At first she wonders if they are strippers or hookers but finds out they are crowd-pleasers at a local bar called the “Coyote Ugly”. Violet soon finds out that it’s the girl’s job to tantalize the crowd as they serve up their unique style of drinks.
“Coyote Ugly” is in the tradition of all those films where we find the innocent trying to hard to find their place in the world through the quest of a dream. Michael J Fox did it in the “Secret of My Success” and Sean Astin did it in “Rudy”. Both of those films were on both sides of the Hollywood spectrum but still kept in tact the spirit of following our dreams. Violet is closer to Rudy then Fox’s Brantley Foster.
Piper Perabo is a name you should remember when exiting “Coyote” because she is a gem here. Her innocence coupled with the emotions she shows when she struggles are quite precious. She appeared earlier this year as the daft Karen Sympathy in “Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” which as I can plainly see now was an insult to her charisma.
Charisma is the best word to descibe a lot of the elements in “Coyote”. Putting Perabo aside you do see it shine in the adrenaline of the bar scenes and the tenderness of the film’s leading man, Adam Garcia. Also you have to commemorate the casting director in finding some ladies to actually do the stuff they do on top of that bar. Like dancing amongst a flame engulfed bar. I have to admire Bruckheimer for leaving his testosterone arena and take a chance on a little film that has more estrogen then all his previous films combined. Using this film and his forthcoming “Remember the Titans” as reference I am looking forward a diversity in the Bruckheimer collection.
My main problems with “Coyote” are the retelling of a story we have seen so many times before. Also in the fact that the film centers almost completely on Perabo. I would have liked to know a little more about the bar girls and their back stories. How did they get involved with Lil (Maria Bello) and her legacy. We do learn a little about Lil’s life before the bar but never the girl inside the strong stubborn matron.
“Coyote Ugly” isn’t an ugly film but a real date movie.
(3.5 out of 5)
So Says the Soothsayer.