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The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
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The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Ageing car salesman Ben Selleck (Brolin) is struggling to keep his dealership in business and a ruthless rival is breathing down his neck, waiting to snap up the lot for himself.
Selleck’s final hope is to swallow his pride and call in roving super-salesman Don Ready (Piven) and his team to stage a July the Fourth blowout sale.
Ready was just about to give retire, but agrees to take up one last challenge, guaranteeing to clear Selleck’s lot of all two hundred vehicles by the end of the weekend.
He has to employ every trick in the book to lure in punters and persuade them to drive away in one of their cars.
But Selleck’s helpless and hopeless staff, a crush on the boss’s daughter and a guilty secret conspire to ensure that ruthless Ready’s last job is the hardest.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Having enjoyed Piven’s performances since his early days, playing a writer on The Larry Sanders Show up to his mind-blowing, show-stealing Hollywood agent Ari Gold in Entourage, I was delighted to see that he’s finally been given his own vehicle – if you excuse the pun.
Sadly, it was a tremendous disappointment. Launching straight into the kind of fast-talking over-confidence that this role requires should’ve provided an opportunity for laughs galore, but using his powers of persuasion to get the cabin crew to let him smoke on a plane was neither subtle nor witty, but that’s not the film.
In Ari Gold, he was the American Malcolm Tucker – bursting with with bitterly sharp invective – but here, the dialogue and situations are rude and crude and not even worthy of American Pie Ate (pun intended) or Dude, Where’s My Script?
It pushes the boundaries of political correctness, but in a way that makes you cringe, not laugh.
It was constantly clichéd – he falls in love with the boss’s daughter, even though her boyfriend’s dad is trying to take over the dealership – and laboured in its quirkiness – every character belongs on a different planet, from the ten year old in an adult’s body and the crazy independent DJ, to the failed boy-band singer with delusions of grandeur – and the plot is as mindless and linear as it is incoherent and just dull.
Most seriously, it’s just not funny. You can almost imagine the writers crowded around a table, carefully crafting their gags, knowing that on paper, it looks like it should work.
On screen it doesn’t. Not the script. Not the gags. Not the characters.
You will laugh, from time to time, but you’ll want to have a wash afterwards.
It’s a huge waste of some talented support – such as Koechner – and perhaps the only genuine smile comes from a cameo by producer Will Ferrell. It’s as if he wanted to secure his own position as America’s current King of Comedy by damaging the reputation of the pretenders to his throne.
The Goods is bad.

opens nationwide 23rd October 2009

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