Movie Review: The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years and 7 months ago
Written August 14, 09
I tell you, it seems like old-school ‘R’ rated comedies are making a comeback and with good cause because for the last couple of years with the exception of some, it seems like studios have gotten more and more conservative as they keep trying to appease either our shady government or in a nutshell goody-too-shoes with delicate tolerance. This summer has brought in some good ones and knowing Neil Brennan (Chappelle’s Show) was involved with this, it had to be seen. Following awesome flicks like “Observe & Report,” “The Hangover,” “Bruno” (yes. BRUNO) and “Funny People,” it has to be pretty tough considering marks all four films have left. They all had a specific agenda and it was to entertain and make us laugh by presenting an edginess that I feel has slipped away with all the political correctness type of bullshit that’s been going on as of late.
Following coat-tails, “The Goods…” is most definitely going to be placed on the same level due to the film’s gritty openness and display of utter remorseless actions… although lacking story-line, this piece pretty much defines a lesson of confidence with a go-getting attitude on a level of its own madness…
Jeremy Piven is no stranger to hard-edged comedy delivered in a rapid-fire confident fashion. He's done this in plenty of pictures over the years, but he honed his ability to perfection as super agent Ari Gold on HBO's 'Entourage.” When small town car dealer Ben Selleck (a hilarious James Brolin) is in danger of losing his lot, he calls in hard-hitter Don “The Goods” Ready (Piven) who is notorious at moving product by any means necessary. Don has basically been dealing in transportation since he was ten years old when he convinced another kid to trade his big wheel in exchange for a hopping ball. Don's team consists of Jibby (Ving Rhames) who has never been in love, lustful sex-pot Babs (Kathryn Hahn) and Brent (David Koecher) who Selleck takes a rather strong liking to, if you know what I mean. The plan is to sell Selleck's two hundred-plus inventory over the July Fourth weekend, but there are more than a few bumps in the road.
Selleck's dealers consist of a racist and bullying WWII vet (Charles Napier), a timid Korean who is continually mistaken for Japanese (Ken Jeong) and a skinny guy (Tony Hale) whose wife and kids all happen to be overweight. These guys know nothing about making a sale, so its up to Don and his team to teach them the ropes. Making matters worse is the fact that Selleck's son Peter (Rob Riggle) is a ten-year-old in the body of a forty-year-old man that Babs now wants to sleep with and his daughter Ivy (Jordana Spiro) is engaged to Paxton (Ed Helms of 'The Hangover'), the son of rival car dealer Stu Harding (Alan Thicke). Paxton may be her fiance, but Don sees him as competition for the affections of Ivy who he soon falls for. The guy clearly has issues with his obnoxious humor, “Lance Bass” frosted -cut and obsession with boy bands, including his own “Big Ups” that is scheduled to open for 'O-Town'. He basically wants his daddy to buy Selleck Motors to use the lot as a practice space for his band. To beat Paxton at his own game, Don convinces Selleck not to sell the dealership to Stu and makes him a deal that if they can't sell the entire lot in three days he can have Brent as his boy toy.
'The Goods' basically has no story, just Don and his team trying to sell every car on the lot, (including one of five cars from 'Smokey and the Bandit') before the holiday weekend is over. The courtship between Don and Ivy is pretty typical, but there are humorous subplots like Don believing one young dealer is the product of a one-night stand he had twenty-years earlier or Jibby looking for a young woman not to have “69”, “89” or “144” with, but actually make love to. Piven does a great job with the material and rapid fire delivery, but the picture would fail without the supporting work of Brolin, who continually makes advances toward Koecher, Hahn's lustful behavior and raunchy dialogue, Napier's insane racist rants or Craig Robinson as a deejay who takes his job a little too seriously. Then there's Helms who along with Zack Galifianakis, stole 'The Hangover' this summer with those antics involving his missing tooth. He's traded in the glasses and nice guy demeanor to play a real jerk who deep down would rather lead a boy band than sell cars. As one of the film's producers Will Ferrell does make a brief appearance as the late best friend of Don who he inadvertently caused to die, but even he is an unnecessary element. That doesn't mean his cameo isn't funny and all I'm going to say is that it involves Abraham Lincoln, Gina Gershon and a parachute accidentally switched with a bag of rubber dildos.