The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Jeremy Piven, best known for his hilarious portrayal of Hollywood agent Ari Gold on HBO's Entourage, has finally achieved leading man status after nearly a quarter century in film. Too bad he didn't get a better role. Piven plays used-car liquidator Don Ready, whose group is hired by a failing auto dealer (James Brolin) in a last-ditch effort to turn a profit or be forced to sell to a competitor (Alan Thicke). The team has three days to sell over 200 cars, but Don gets distracted as he quickly falls for the dealer's daughter -- which may totally compromise the mission.
Like the low-end lot they're on, very little shines in this movie by director Neal Brennan (in his feature debut). Piven and most of the cast seem to be going through the motions as they try to work with a weak script. Even a cameo by producer Will Ferrell falls flat. Wasted are Charles Napier and Kathryn Hahn who deservedly get most of the few laughs.
In recent interviews, Piven tries to make a comparison between this comedy and the OTHER wildly successful R-rated comedy of the summer, The Hangover. The only comparison is that both movies share supporting stars Ed Helms, Ken Jeong and Rob Riggle. Whereas The Hangover was a smart, funny movie, The Goods is a dumb, mostly unfunny one. On hand at my screening, Piven even encouraged Twitter users in the audience to help spread the word on the movie. What he failed to realize is that spreading bad word will not help a movie (maybe Piven should have Googled, "Twitter reviews hurt Brüno box office"). As word spreads, this film will be a hard sell. Frankly, The Goods is really not that good. [Rated R; opens tomorrow]
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