The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/10/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

The Goods has a terrific comic cast but promptly squanders its potential with hard-to-like characters and a largely unfunny script that relies too heavily on unnecessary crudity.

What's it all about?
Directed by Neal Brennan (but produced by the team behind Anchorman), The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard stars Jeremy Piven as Don “The Goods” Ready, a legendary salesman who runs a team of fast-talking, hard-living sales mercenaries, including ex-pro-bowler Jibby (Ving Rhames), sexually aggressive Babs (Kathryn Hahn) and numbers whizz Brent (David Koechner). When they're hired to help car dealer Ben Selleck (Josh Brolin) save his failing business, the team descend on smalltown Temecula, California and Don vows to sell all 211 cars over the 4th of July weekend.

Things are complicated by the fact that Don is still blaming himself for the death of his partner (Will Ferrell, in an amusing cameo that's probably the best thing in the film). And to make matters worse, he finds himself falling for Selleck's daughter Ivy (Jordana Spiro) who is, in turn, engaged to Paxton (Ed Helms), the son of Selleck's chief rival (Alan Thicke), who wants to turn Selleck's car lot into a rehearsal space for his Man Band.

The Good
Aside from seasoned comic performers such as Piven (basically channelling Entourage's Ari Gold), Hahn, Koechner and Helms, the film's terrific comic cast also includes Craig Robinson as DJ Request (“Nobody tells DJ Request what to play!”) and Charles Napier, Ken Jeong and Tony Hale as Selleck's salesmen.

The Bad
Unfortunately, despite the wealth of comic talent on board, the script largely fails to give them anything funny to do, instead relying too heavily on unnecessary crudity (and not the good kind) in a series of unfunny lines, sight gags and situations, such as Babs knowingly lusting after Peter Selleck (Rob Riggle), a 10-year-old in a man's body. What's worse is that the lazy script just gives each character their supposedly funny bit (DJ Request not playing requests, Babs trying to shag Peter, Brent dodging Ben's sexual advances, etc.) and repeats them over and over again until you get bored.

Similarly, the filmmakers gravely misjudge the likeability of the characters, particularly Don, whose early pro-smoking on airplanes speech is embarrassing to watch.

Worth seeing?
Ultimately, despite the best efforts of a superb comic cast, The Goods just isn't all that good.

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Content updated: 26/09/2018 12:15

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