Touchstone and Beyond: A Story of Disney’s “Coyote Ugly”
Our trip to bars jumps twelve years after the years 1988 Cocktail in the 2000s Ugly coyote. Will the film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer be as entertaining as the Tom Cruise vehicle? Let’s find out.
Violet (Piper Perabo) has big dreams. She leaves her small town of New Jersey and her father Bill (John Goodman) with the hope of succeeding in New York as a songwriter. Arriving in the city that never sleeps, Violet works hard to create a demo tape and sends multiple copies to talent agencies and recording studios, only to be rejected.
Although she is starting a relationship with Kevin (Adam Garcia), Violet has no luck with writing her song. In an all-night cafÃ©, she overhears three women, Cammie (Izabella Miko), Rachel (Bridget Moynahan) and Zoe (Tyra Banks) talking about their rowdy night and counting the money they’ve made. Violet learns that they are bartenders at Coyote Ugly and that Zoe is quitting her job.
Violet finds the bar and meets the owner, Lil (Maria Bello). After a conversation, Lil agrees to hire him temporarily. Being a bartender at Coyote Ugly is no ordinary job. When Violet walks in for her first shift, she sees a noisy bar and Cammie and Rachel dance above the bar in several suggestive ways.
At first hesitant, Violet adapts and begins to like her job. She learns to play in front of the crowd and for a while she gets over her stage fright and sings in front of the bar patrons. Over time, Violet begins to adopt the Coyote Ugly lifestyle, which causes her issues with Kevin and her father.
The confidence she once had begins to evaporate. Violet’s relationship with Kevin runs into a problem. Her father is injured at work and this upheaval in her life has made Violet wonder if she should go home. Her father refuses and encourages her to continue writing her song. Her father’s pep talk and leaving Coyote Ugly got Violet on the right track.
His demo tap is accepted for a song contest. At first hesitant, Violet heads for the competition to have an attack of stage fright. Kevin is there thanks to a timely phone call from Lil, and Violet performs her song “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”.
Three months later, Violet is back at Coyote Ugly as LeAnn Rimes records her song in a crowded bar. Not only is Violet’s songwriting career on track, her relationship with Kevin is thriving.
Piper Perabo is sweet and adorable like Violet. Perabo makes the character believable and gives the role credibility and humanity. In a world that seems silly and beyond belief, it’s Perabo’s acting ability that makes Violet stand out. Audiences will be rooted in Violet’s success thanks to Piper Perabo.
Violet and Kevin’s relationship is like a lot of rom-coms before, but Perabo and Adam Garcia make it work. They both come across as real twenty-five years old trying to be successful in the real world.
The bar scenes at Coyote Ugly are silly and go beyond ridiculous in the realm of ridicule. The water scene is gratuitous and degrading. Bridget Moynahan and Izabella Miko have little dialogue and spend most of the film dancing at the bar. When Moynahan has the right to unleash his character’s anger and punch a guy during Violet’s performance, that on its own beats anything that has happened at the bar.
My biggest problem with bar scenes is that Ugly coyote paints a cinematic depiction of dancers on a bar who never go wrong and always shine. There’s no way it went perfectly in real life or on screen. I would have loved to see one of the girls drop from the bar a few times as that would have given the scene some credibility. The scene where the girls soak themselves in the water is nicely shot for a movie but would have looked ridiculous in the real world.
I remember, in the early 2000s, the effect of this film on bars. In Ottawa, Canada, there was a bar in the city center that lit the bar like in this movie. Then the female bar staff would dance above the bar to attract customers. Should it have happened? No! The brilliance of the film can influence the audience and the imaginary world Ugly coyote in the real world seemed ridiculous and dangerous. God knows how many people were injured in stunts like this back then.
Twelve years later Cocktail, another bartender movie arrives in which a young protagonist seeks success in the big city to turn to the bartender. While new to town, Tom Cruise turns to bartender flair and becomes a local celebrity. Piper Perabo also turns to bartender flair at a popular bar, but the difference is that female bartenders are expected to dance suggestively above the bar while wearing skimpy clothes. Tom Cruise had it easy compared to Piper Perabo.
Fun facts about the movie
- The film is based on an article by GQ magazine titled “The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.
- The article details Gilbert’s perspective when she worked for the real Coyote Ugly.
- Johnny Knoxville has a cameo in the movie as a customer at the bar.
- The Calling is the band playing at the club where Kevin works when Violet first meets him.
- Jessica Simpson and January Jones auditioned for the role of Violet.
- Alex Borstein has a cameo at the end of the movie in the bar.
- Director Michael Bay has a cameo as a photographer in the bar.
- While John Goodman admitted he made the film for the money, the testing audiences loved him. Additional scenes were said to have been added because the test audience wanted more of Goodman.
- Tyra Banks is in all of the promotional material for the film but has very few scenes.
- Carol Ann Susi who played Ms. Wolowitz in The Big Bang Theory also appears at the end of the film in a cameo role in the bar.
- Kevin Smith did the uncredited screenplay for the film.
- The real bar has been franchised with locations all over the world. The original Coyote Ugly bar was opened in New York City by Liliana Lovell.
- The film’s soundtrack lasted a year on the Billboard Top 40 Album Chart.
- The film did not win any Oscars, but it did win an American Music Award for Best Soundtrack and two Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Best Song and for Performance by Maria Bello.
The Golden Popcorn Bucket Award
Ugly coyote gets Â½ a price Golden Popcorn Bucket. Piper Perabo deserves better roles, and this film is slated for release in the year 2000.
Next week we’re watching another Jerry Bruckheimer movie that should have been a major blockbuster but wasn’t, in 2004. King Arthur.
Directed by David mcnally
Produced by Touchstone Pictures / Jerry Bruckheimer Films
- Piper Perabo as Violet
- Maria Bello as Lil
- Izabella Miko as Cammie
- Bridget Moynahan as Rachel
- Adam Garcia as Kevin
- John Goodman as Bill
- Tyra Banks as Zoe
Release date: Aug 4, 2000
Budget: $ 45 million
Box Office Gross
National: $ 60,786,269
World Total: $ 113,916,474