The Goods sells big laughs
It seems like every week i'm saying there is a new "funniest movie of
the year." "Funny People" is my current favorite but "The Goods: Live
Hard, Sell Hard" is it's non-dramatic equivalent.
First off this is a great role for Jeremy Piven, very much in Ari
Gold-form as Don Ready, a car salesman-for-hire who travels around
America with his crew helping out lackluster dealerships. Don is the
type of character you immediately love, a born talker who not only
manages to smoke on the plane ride over to Temecula, CA, he turns it
into an all-out orgy complete with live mariachi band.
Why go to Temecula? The car dealership owned by Ben Selleck (James
Brolin) is in trouble, struggling with rag-tag salesman, poor sales
returns, and as Babs (Kathryn Hahn), one part of Don's crew points out,
the place looks like a "refugee camp for dirty men." Along with his
other two sidekicks, Brent (David Koechner) and Jibby (Ving Rhames),
Don must sell all the cars off the lot or the dealership faces being
sold to Stu Harding (Alan Thicke), another more successful dealer.
His son is Paxton Harding (Ed Helms), a late-30's man whose real dream
is for his boy band to finally get off the ground. Paxton is engaged to
Selleck's daughter Ivy (Jordana Spiro), who Don also finds attractive.
Soon Ivy, plus a long-lost son Don fathered when he was 10-years old,
encourages him to think about finally settling down. Wall to wall
Directed by Neal Brennan (a former writer on Chappelle Show) and
written by Andy Stock and Rick Stempson, this is an offensively rude,
crude, profane laugh machine from first scene to last. There are a few
really good lines and the supporting cast gets some of the most
hilarious material i've seen this year. The Daily Show's Rob Riggle as
Selleck's son Peter, a 10 year old with a pituitary problem that makes
him look 40. Kathryn Hahn as Don's sexually abrasive partner, using
porno to sell cars and lusting after the innocent but very hunky Peter.
Charles Napier as an older salesman who pines for the olden days and
gets crazily angry and offensive to women, gays, Asians, and just about
everybody really. Ving Rhames, playing a character who's had sex with
thousands of women but has never "made love". Ed Helms, with his
pot-belly and spiky hair-do, does nice work with the boy band stuff.
James Brolin has a running gay gag with David Koechner that never gets
old, and Brolin's car commercial, where he guilt-trips everyone to buy
because he is dying of ball cancer, had me in tears. And like I said,
I'm trying not to give too much away but Will Ferrell gets a cameo that
single-handedly makes you forgive the atrocity that was "Land of the
This is all just the tip of the iceberg of this insanely hilarious
movie. You just want to start listing funny thing after funny thing,
its that good..
A good but not great comedy
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard stars Jeremy Piven as Don Ready, a
character not all that different from Ari Gold who he plays on
Entourage but maybe a little more over the top. He's considered a
"mercenary" car salesman; he doesn't work for one auto dealership.
Instead, he prefers to go from one dealership to another for brief
periods of time when one of them is in dire need of a renegade salesman
who can turn things around.
James Brolin plays Ben Selleck who owns a flailing dealership and
decides to hire Don Ready for his upcoming Fourth of July sale. Don is
having his daily breakfast at a strip club when he receives the call.
He gathers up his crew who travel with him wherever he's needed. Don
even hires the strip club dj and some strippers to liven things up at
the big holiday sale. As I was watching this movie, I thought of how
cool it would be to actually have a dj and strippers at a car
dealership. I'm pretty sure it would get me over there to check out
The film has some very good jokes, especially in the first half of the
film. It wears a little thin in the second half when they get into a
slump and Don loses his focus. He even starts to fall for Selleck's
daughter although she's already engaged to a grown man who sings in a
boy-band. I guess they had to have somewhat of a story arc as there's
not any kind of complicated plot here. Overall, most of the gags work
because they're pretty over-the-top just as The Hangover was. This even
has some of the same stars from that movie in this one. As a small
bonus, Will Ferrell shows up for a brief but rather funny cameo. The
film clocks in at just 90 minutes which is perfect for a comedy of this
nature, any more than that would have been dragging it out..