15 August 2009

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

URBAN: A story with really funny characters. The attempt at making a story kind of gets in the way.

Jeremy Piven heads up a great cast of funny people in a film from the people who brought you Talladega Nights and Step Brothers.

If you want to see a funny and crude comedy in the same vein as Old School, Anchorman, and The Hangover, then this will be a great film for you for two reasons-

A: Most of the jokes from the previews occur in the first 10 minutes (there is plenty of other funny stuff).

B: There are as many strip club visits as there are great cameos.

This is a conventional film in many ways. It places a character with a set of odd quirks in a unique profession. After the audience has observed the character interacting in his profession a crisis in introduced which separates the character from his profession. You can probably guess what happens from there.

Within this conventional storyline the film is able to hit on a number of jokes and well placed references to other works. Ving Rhames character has a great crack when referring to a scene from Total Recall, and Piven as Don Ready can't help but remind me of Ari Gold when he refers to his female co-worker as "Babs". The one time I even noticed the camera work is during the climactic sale and does an excellent job of depicting the isolation that car buyers sometimes refer to as they are drawn into the persuasive powers of a salesman. Of course, I'm definitely setting the bar low. Aside from clever allusion, avoiding obvious goofs is about all you can ask for in a formula film like this.

At the end of the day, if you are looking for laughs, you will get them from this film. It is full of the politically incorrect and perverse, and manages to do so without really having any redeeming characteristics. In that way it is kind of like the "Used Car Blowout" people that it depicts. Whatever you leave with won't be with you for very long, but you feel like you got your money's worth.

URBAN: Recommended, but only for the few reasons listed above.

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