Guilty Pleasure – Coyote Ugly

by Alan Rapp on August 29, 2019

in Home Video

  • Title: Coyote Ugly
  • IMDb: link

Coyote Ugly DVD reviewThrowback Thursday takes us back to… wait, has it really been 19 years? Piper Perabo stars in 2000’s Coyote Ugly as aspiring songwriter Violet Sanford who leaves the comfort of her sleepy New Jersey suburb to move to New York City and become a singing barmaid at a trendy bar known for its attractive waitresses dancing on the bar.

While not what one would call objectively good (sappy and predictable are both apt descriptions), the movie does work as a guilty pleasure mostly for Perabo’s lead performance, the high energy from her often scantily-clad co-stars (Izabella Miko, Bridget Moynahan, Tyra Banks), and the film’s soundtrack sporting four songs written by Diane Warren (which proved more successful than the film itself).

The larger supporting cast includes Maria Bello as the bar’s gruff owner with a heart of gold, Adam Garcia as Violet’s love interest (who is thrown together with Violet in a sickeningly-sweet meet-cute), and John Goodman as Violet’s disapproving father, both of her move to New York and how she spends her nights.

Punctuated by some fun moments, good music, and some nice quiet scenes (particularly between Pearbo and either Goodman or Bello), there’s enough here to bring me back every now and then, despite the film’s shortcomings. Coyote Ugly‘s third act includes Violet’s life falling apart, a health scare, a break-up, and a couple other cliches before the climax of the film involving a last-minute race to Violet’s first live performance of her own music, in which she (of course) will conquer her stage fright and make all her dreams come true. Even going so far to embrace its sickening sweet ending by admitting in its dialogue (not once but twice), I still can’t hold it against Perabo who lights up the screen in what is still, for many, her most recognized role.

Released multiple times on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras on various editions include deleted and extended scenes, audio commentary from cast and crew, LeAnn Rimes‘ music video for “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” and a series of short featurettes on the making of the film including a look at the actresses’ Coyote training.

[Touchstone Pictures]

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