Starring: Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, John Goodman
Director: David McNally
Running Time: 101 mins
Coyote Ugly is an American film about a small-town songwriter who moves to New York City to achieve her dreams, but first finds herself taking a job as a barmaid at the city’s most raucous bar, Coyote Ugly.
More than just another take on the classic A Star Is Born tale, Coyote Ugly delivers a heartfelt, crowd-pleasing story of talent rising to the top, complete with a kick-ass soundtrack and a brilliant party atmosphere. It may not be a groundbreaking piece of cinema, but Coyote Ugly is buzzing with energy wherever you look, and that’s what makes it such an irresistibly enjoyable watch.
Featuring era-defining music and nostalgia, Coyote Ugly is without doubt one of the best films of the early ’00s, because it goes beyond the Hollywood clichés that so many similar movies rely on time and time again.
The energy and party atmosphere is what really makes Coyote Ugly, with its story of a rising starlet set against a lively, crowded and raucous backdrop in the buzzing New York night scene. The music – in particular a brilliant, chart-topping original theme song – is an absolute joy to behold, only upping the tempo of what is already an immensely entertaining film from the start.
At the core of the story are two parallel tales, one of finding love and a home amongst the chaos of moving to a new city, and the other of pushing against all the odds to achieve your dreams. Both of these stories have been told a million times before in Hollywood, but Coyote Ugly does it with a smile on its face.
It’s not all happy-go-lucky, and the film impresses with heartfelt drama as we see our main character remain connected with her roots, and with her feet firmly on the ground throughout, but you can tell from the start that this is a movie out there to have fun, and to give you as good of a time as so many of the dancing revellers that star throughout.
At the centre of it all is a fantastic breakthrough performance from Piper Perabo, who, while not exactly nailing the shy, small-town girl persona, is absolute dynamite as an energetic and determined young talent with the world at her fingertips.
Alongside Perabo is a brilliant ensemble cast that features none other than John Goodman, Adam Garcia, Maria Bello and more, all of whom bring more than their fair share of charisma to the table, without ever leaning too heavily on the more predictable features of their respective characters.
All of this comes together to deliver a film that’s filled to the brim with glorious energy from start to finish, taking the classic story of a rising starlet and turning it up to eleven with a brilliant soundtrack and a festival atmosphere. Coupled with a heartfelt and ultimately crowd-pleasing story, Coyote Ugly is a film that will give you a whale of a time, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.0.