Jerry rigged

Bruckheimer's Coyote Ugly pours a lethal cocktail

Soon enough, the shrinking Violet is hopping on the bar, strutting her stuffed bra, singing along with Blondie songs to quiet riotous crowds, and getting her picture in the pages of The Village Voice, much to the disgust of her beleaguered, toll-booth-working papa. Dad, eventually, lands in the hospital after getting hit by a car on the job, forcing a wet, weepy reconciliation between father and daughter. But the inevitable happy ending is turned up to 11: Not only does Violet get her shot on stage, backed by a house band at the Bowery Ballroom, but LeAnn Rimes winds up turning her song into a hit single.

For a split second, and no doubt by accident, Bruckheimer, first-time director David McNally (a veteran of Budweiser ads, but of course), and rookie screenwriter Gina Wendkos (who wrote Wiseguy episodes, and presumably the post-Ken Wahl ones) sabotage their movie. Kevin rails at Violet for working at the bar, insisting it's nothing but a would-be titty bar where the bartenders shake their asses for spare change; he's right, and Violet knows it, looking not a little ashamed for having confused empowerment (a word that appears more often in the press kit than punctuation marks) with employment at what's essentially a seedy strip club where girls keep their tops on, and just barely. But the lone real, honest moment is fleeting, a tangent discarded and drowned out by EMF's "Unbelievable," which shows up on the soundtrack so often, it's likely Bruckheimer owes that defunct band some money. Go see Coyote Ugly, and you'll feel as though he owes you eight bucks too.

LeAnn Rimes, left, the Tiffany of country music, sings with Piper Perabo, the Carrot Top of acting, in Coyote Ugly.
LeAnn Rimes, left, the Tiffany of country music, sings with Piper Perabo, the Carrot Top of acting, in Coyote Ugly.

Details

Starring Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, Maria Bello, Melanie Lynsky, and John Goodman

Release Date:
August 4

Official site

Directed by David McNally

Written by Gina Wendkos

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