Bo Bice, boy bands, and the repeated mention of 'querque' (pronounced kirk-e) do not a funny film make. The jokes are outdated, there's not a single likable character, and if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the only remotely funny parts of The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard
. And yes, I'm going in for the easy kill here...The Goods
, plainly put, should be renamed The Bads
the best thing about HBO's Entourage
, but as the leading man in The Goods
, he's sorely missing the kind of support from the writing staff he has the benefit of on that hit cable show. Even Ed Helms, terrific on The Office
and in this year's smash hit The Hangover
, can't manage to do anything with the material given to him in this mean-spirited, lowbrow comedy.
Don Ready (Pivens) is ringleader of a gang of hired guns. But Don and his buddies aren't killers, they're car salesman who show up for 3-day weekends, turn dealerships around, and then get the heck out of Dodge. Get it? 'Dodge' as in the automobile brand. If you thought that pun wasn't funny, I'll let you in on a secret: it's better than 99.99% of the lines in The Goods
. Anyway, Don and his buddies don't lead a glamorous life, but with the exception of a misstep in Albuquerque, it's a fairly lucrative profession.
A scene from 'The Goods.'
© Paramount Vantage
The team is called to Temecula, California, to help Ben Selleck and his family clear their lot. This needs to be done because Ben's daughter Ivy's fiance, Paxton Harding (Helms), wants his daddy to take over the lot and turn it into a big rehearsal space for Harding's boy band, Big Ups. Why Ivy is engaged to Paxton isn't explained. He's a jerk, she seems like a normal enough woman, and it's obvious the Hardings look upon the Sellecks with contempt. Really nothing about this movie makes any sense, but I'm focusing on this particularly annoying plot point because the entire film hinges on Ivy and her relationship to Paxton and her attraction to Don. I just can't stand when women are made to look this oblivious and stupid without a good reason.
The Bottom Line
If you're going to name a movie The Goods
, then you better deliver on that promise. All The Goods
manages to deliver are a few tiny chuckles. There's a batch of running jokes, a real scattershot approach to comedy - and not one works. Not one
. Ben (James Brolin) is attracted to Brent (David Koechner) so there's a bunch of come-on lines and silly double entrendes. Yawn. Babs (Kathyrn Hahn) lusts after a 10 year old boy in the body of a 30 year old man. Creepy, yes. Funny, no. Jibby (Ving Rhames) has never made love to a woman. Another joke that's pushed way beyond its breaking point. And Don (Piven) is stuck with bad boy band putdowns and bearing the brunt of 'querque' mentions.
Ed Helms (center) in 'The Goods.'
© Paramount Vantage
wastes talent, wastes what could have been funny set-ups, and wastes the audience's time. It's all so ridiculous and juvenile and silly, but if it was funny I'd forgive it. As it stands now, I'm harboring a grudge against this movie for wasting an evening of my life. Don't let it rob you of one of yours.
The Goods was directed by Neal Brennan and is rated R for sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug material.
Theatrical Release Date: August 14, 2009