Catching Up: “Coyote Ugly”

Some films, even after they were released, have a certain kind of reputation. Years later, these films reputations remain, but change at the same time.

With Buena Vista Pictures and Touchstone Pictures film “Coyote Ugly” the films reputation has changed so much so that it’s not about a place in pop culture. It’s a running gag.

This comedy drama stars Piper Perabo (“Covert Affairs”, “Grizzly”), Adam Garcia (“Perception”, “Camp”), Maria Bello (“Prisoners”, “Grown Ups 2”), Izabella Miko (“upcoming “Step Up All In”, “Starving in Suburbia”), Tyra Banks (“Glee”, “Shake it Up!”), Bridget Moynahan (“Small Time”, “Blue Bloods”), Melanie Lynskey (“Happy Christmas”, “The Big Ask”), and John Goodman (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”, “The Monuments Men”).

The film was directed by David McNally (“The Apostles”, “Kangaroo Jack”), and written by Gina Wendkos (“Do No Harm”, “The Princess Diaries”), based on the GQ article “The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon” by Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat Pray Love”).

The film was released on Aug. 4, 2000 (14 years today).

This film surprised me. Not for the fact that it was terrible film, but how, for a film that is this old and I know is pretty bad, I could still be entertained by it. Mind you, I was mostly entertained by anything taking place in Coyote Ugly, but that’s better than nothing, I suppose.

The acting was mediocre, and it’s really weird seeing how a lot of the actors have since done some pretty good things. The characters, while mostly dull, managed to squeak out a teeny tiny bit of interesting qualities, but nothing that could hold you for any long amount of time.

I blame the lack of interesting characters on the fact that the entire plot of the film, and its various subplots, were all the same ones seen before, and since. Everything was overly predictable or not at all surprising. Easy go to plot devices. This was also the year before Mariah Carrey’s film “Glitter” came out, so neither really are held in high esteem. Where “Coyote Ugly” excels is that I could see this being a far more enjoyable guilty pleasure film than “Glitter”.

When I started this I was thoroughly surprised and a little delighted at how dated this film already was. Cassettes, the songs. Oh my. It was really painful to hear what was the music of the time. it’s either that or it was set in the 1990s, which isn’t much better when speaking about how dated this film is. Clearly this is why it fits so perfectly when VH1 does those “I Love the… ” whatever.

While I’m sort of happy I’ve seen this film, at long last, I’m mortified at what I saw. It may have had small amounts of comedy, but mostly it was a terrible experience. Everything was way too forced, and that was just to get from one plot point to the other. Will I steer clear of this, even if it is a guilty pleasure film for some? Yes. Once is enough.


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