By Sandra Kraisirideja
Jeremy Piven delivers a line in “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” to describe his method for picking up women, but it’s also a great description for the movie: ‘I’m using a buckshot approach and firing until I hit something.”
The jokes, one-liners, quibs and barbs, come from all directions in “The Goods”and while they often hit their target the scattered approach only highlights the weak storyline and lack of decent writing in the script.
When car dealership owner Ben Selleck (James Brolin) finds his car lot on the brink of foreclosure he calls in a group of mercenary car salesmen—and one woman—led by Don Ready (Piven) to help turn his luck around.
Directed by Neal Brennan, “The Goods” is a rated R comedy that will most certainly release an unrated version when it comes out on DVD. The humor revolves around sex and homosexuality, which only goes so far. The cast is filled with many familiar faces: David Koechner, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Ving Rhames, and Kathryn Hahn.
For a movie about selling cars there aren’t many scenes where the characters are shown interacting with customers and getting them to buy cars.
It’s not surprising that the two most memorable scenes involve the characters manipulating various customers’ emotions to result in a car purchase.
The first scene like this shows Babs Merrick (Hahn), Ready’s lone female team member, using her sex appeal to sell a car to a man who makes it clear that the only thing that will sell the car is a good price. Subsequently Babs gets the guy to sell the car by talking about porn. It’s a great scene for Hahn and its too bad there weren’t more scenes like it for the other actors.
“The Goods” has its funny moments, but the humor and jokes lack real substance. The characters are just superficial cariacatures, but truly great comedies need emotional depth to help balance the laughter.
Photo: (Left to right) Brent Gage (David Koechner), Don Ready (Jeremy Piven), Jibby Newsome (Ving Rhames) and Babs Merrick (Kathryn Hahn), are the best used-car sales team in the business, in the comedy “The Goods: LIVE HARD, SELL HARD.” Photo Credit: Sam Emerson