First of all, how in the hell could this film fail to be rated R, and fail to contain more nudity than a tape full of Jerry Springer outtakes? Was somebody actually sober at a Jerry Bruckheimer production company meeting? Oooh, we wouldn't want to cross that delicate line between crass exploitation and, uh, super-duper crass exploitation. If I'm going to make the time to see a stupid film about women dancing on a bar, please make it a stupid movie about nude women dancing on a bar. Can you believe that somebody in the Bruckheimer fold actually suggested they make a PG-13 "Showgirls" and it happened?
This is director David McNally's motion picture debut and as the production notes proudly point out, "he hails from the world of television commercials." His proudest accomplishment, incidentally, is the Budweiser "Lobster" spot (I am not making this up). This must explain all the pointless reaction shots. There's a scene where shy, Coyote wannabe, Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo) confronts hunky Kevin O'Donnell (Adam Garcia) in his place of employment -- a kitchen. As they argue, McNally keeps cutting to Kevin's fat boss for a reaction shot -- or as it's known in the biz, the "Mmm, that ice cold Bud looks so good. I wish I had one" shot. There's also a delightful ass shot as Violet bends over to get a celery stick out of the fridge. Guess the frat boys in the editing room decided her character development would be stunted without that one.
Violet heads to the big city from her humble abode in New Jersey to make it as a songwriter, leaving her dad (John Goodman, apparently more desperate for work than one might have suspected) to fend for himself. Of course, Mom has died, having pursued the same dream as Violet only to have it cruelly dashed by her inability to perform on stage -- a problem which also plagues Violet. Rest assured that Mom is the subject of numerous conversations and tender moments. Violet takes a job at a bar called Coyote Ugly, owned by hard-as-nails, tough-as-rocks, don't touch me or I'll knee you in the balls, Lil (Maria Bello). To make money, pass the time, decide if she loves Kevin, and work out her shyness problem, Violet performs half-naked Karaoke on top of a bar in front of several hundred inebriated men. You'll notice her shyness pass as her hair magically transforms from loser-do to model-do in the course of 95 minutes.
Every conceivable ridiculous convention is given the lap dance of rejuvenation in this film. Violet and Kevin fight, but when Violet wants to get back together, you can bet she sees Kevin with another woman. Of course, the gorgeous woman is just there to rent his apartment, but Violet doesn't know that. Don't fat women rent apartments? My favorite though, is when Violet gets that call: "This is County General. Are you related to William Sanford?" Although we're supposed to think Big Daddy is dead, it turns out that he's just been hit by a car. When the doctor starts his sentence: "Your dad was hit on his right side..." I couldn't help thinking he was going to finish it: "...but he's going to be fine. However, the car has been totaled."
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