Coyote Ugly
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

Ok. We all know why I went to see this movie.  Yes, that's right, it was to see John Goodman dance on top of a bar. The bar is question is called Coyote Ugly. And this movie is loosely based on a real bar of the same name in New York City. Although another bar, Hogs & Heifers claims to be the real basis for the movie.  The movie itself isn't quite so controversial. It's a very predictable story that you've seen many times before. And the dancing on the bar scenes are much less frequent than implied by the trailer. Newcomer Piper Perabo stars in Coyote Ugly as an aspiring songwriter who leaves her home in small town New Jersey and travels to New York seeking fame and fortune, leaving behind her widowed father (John Goodman).  Soon she is finding out how hard it is to make it as a songwriter in New York and is forced to find a job.  She gets an "audition" at the Coyote Ugly where the bartenders are expected to dance and sing on the bar and spray water at the patrons under the watchful eye of the owner, Maria Bello.  Perabo is almost fired several times as she struggles to lose her small town dweebishness and become a real Coyote.  Along the way, she meets and falls for a hunky guy from down under, Adam Garcia.  In this the most predictable of storylines, we find that Perabo gets stage fright during her first break, her father won't speak to her after he finds out what she does for a living, her boyfriend won't speak to her after being shocked and surprised by what she does for a living even though he met her at the bar, she gets fired, she almost gives up and goes back to New Jersey, and then you guessed it, everyone lives happily ever after.  Perabo is good as the predictable heroine and is supported well by Goodman, Bello and Garcia. John Goodman can walk through this role with his eyes closed but he's fun to watch. Bello, who is best known for being an intern and almost girlfriend to John Carter on ER, has a nice hard edge as the owner of Coyote Ugly. But if you want to see a much better movie with a very similar plot, take a look at The Thing Called Love. This is a really well done film with a great cast and script. It stars Samatha Mathis in the Perabo role of a young woman who moves to Nashville to write songs. The cast also includes the amazing River Phoenix, as well as a pre-Speed Sandra Bullock and Dermot Mulroney.  While you are waiting for Coyote Ugly to be released on video, rent The Thing Called Love.