Grrlll, Interrupted

Coyote Ugly's tavern toughies fail bar exam

Most offensive of all is the subtle moralizing; the idea that Violet can be empowered by working at Coyote Ugly, yet must rise above such debauchery in order to be truly happy. Bruckheimer has never been a prude: Is this his attempt to placate feminists? As pro wrestler The Rock would say: Know your role, Jerry -- you make guy movies. And there's nothing wrong with that. You'll never be Nora Ephron, and you shouldn't even think of going there to begin with. After all, you don't see her messing around with pyrotechnics. As for Perabo, she certainly looks great. But after a while, her face becomes tedious, with its range of expressions from bemused grin to ultrawide bemused grin all the way through to trembling-through-tears bemused grin. (On a side note, why do so many actors maintain a smiling mouth while crying onscreen? Does anyone you know do this?) Garcia is a better bet for breakthrough star, channeling more charisma than that other handsome young Aussie of the summer, Heath Ledger.

Coyote Ugly: Top, from left, Tyra Banks, Maria Bello, Bridget Moynahan, and bottom, from left, Piper Perabo and Izabella Miko.
Patrick Demarchelier
Coyote Ugly: Top, from left, Tyra Banks, Maria Bello, Bridget Moynahan, and bottom, from left, Piper Perabo and Izabella Miko.

Goodman is better than the rest of the cast put together. And with the exception of Maria Bello as the hardened bar owner, none of the Coyote girls makes a strong impression. Tyra Banks stands out by being the only one who isn't white, but that's about it. Given the prices of movie tickets, popcorn and sodas, you might as well take your money to a strip club instead. The ladies may not serve you alcohol, but they won't try to distract you with a plot, and it's almost a lock that the music will be better.

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