review for Coyote Ugly on AllMovie

Coyote Ugly (2000)
by Michael Hastings review

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer attempts to update the success of his 1983 hit Flashdance for a new generation with this ludicrous rags-to-riches tale about a naïve New Jersey girl who maintains her integrity as a songwriter by flailing her nubile figure at one of New York City's trendier drinking establishments. The titular watering hole -- inspired by a true-life bar chronicled in GQ magazine -- is portrayed as a female-owned and -operated business in which the women hold power over their male clients; since they're in control of their own exploitation, the filmmakers insinuate that it's okay. It's as if Bruckheimer were trying to remake The Accused with a positive spin. For the dawn of the 21st century, Coyote Ugly seems wholly anachronistic: the soundtrack is made up of recycled 1980s pop hits, and the plot is lifted from crummy 1940s melodramas. Even the supposedly titillating bar dances -- in which the actresses' faces never quite match up with their body-double dancers -- do little to quicken the pulse. The charming Piper Perabo does her best to smile cheerily through the morass, but in the end, Ugly gets the best of even her.