November 28, 2009
Review - " The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard "
(on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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The Goods: Live hard, Sell hard
Directed by: Neal Brennan
Starring: Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, James Brolin, David Koechner,
Kathryn Hahn, Ed Helms, Jordana Spiro, Craig Robinson, Tony Hale,
Ken Jeong, Rob Riggle, Alan Thicke, Charles Napier, Jonathan Sadowski,
Noureen DeWulf, Wendie Malick, Bryan Callen, Joey Kern, Kristen
Schaal, Will Ferrell.
After years of supporting roles, dating all the way back to Say Anything,
Piven finally gets a leading role in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.
Unfortunately, the movie isn't particularly memorable.
Harkening back to the comedies of the 90's, The Goods is a comedy full of
sleazy but likable protagonists and goofy, R-rated shenanigans. It's full of
the stereotypical bunch, ranging from the jackass boss, the crazy old guy,
the slutty female coworker, the retarded guy and the hot love interest who's
dating the love-to-hate-him bad guy. You're not going to get originality here,
nor should you expect it.
The Goods has… the goods to be funny, and at times it is, but it suffers
from the fact that it was released ten years too late. Comedies like this
thrived in the 90's, relying more on situation and circumstance than plot or
dialogue. But in the day and age of Knocked Up and The Hangover, where
sharp dialogue is tickling people's funny bones, The Goods just doesn't cut
Furthermore, it denies Jeremy Piven his bread and butter: the fast-talking onslaught of over-the-top dialogue that he can
craft into a breathless stream of jokes and one-liners. He has his moments, but not enough of them. Other actors suffer
similar fates: Ed Helms (The Hangover) comes off as an unfunny version of his "The Office" character, Ving Rhames is dull
and David Koechner is surprisingly subdued. In other words, we've all seen these actors funnier in other roles.
A plucky ensemble does what they can with "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," but this broad comedy set in the world of car
salesmen is more lame and obnoxious than actually witty. The characters, pretty much all of them caricatures with only a
passing resemblance to real human beings, aren't nearly as riotous as they are supposed to be, and the story they are in
spins its wheels with subplots that go nowhere and an ending that can be seen coming from a mile away. Director Neal
Brennan, making his feature debut after working on TV's "Chapelle's Show," fails to distinguish himself from other mid-level
comic-based filmmakers, and screenwriters Andy Stock and Rick Stempson toss out whatever outlandish and crude dialogue
they can think of in hopes that some of it sticks. Very little of it does.
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard is
watchable, and there are some genuinely
funny moments, but it feels out of date.
Fans of silly comedies of "old" may find some
things to like, but will still agree it's too little,