The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard. (2009)
The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard. (2009)

Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min.

Release Date: August 14th, 2009 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Neal Brennan Actors: Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, David Koechner, Kathryn Hahn, James Brolin, Jordana Spiro, Ken Jeong, Tony Hale, Noureen DeWulf




he age of immature raunchy comedies seems to have passed, especially with the recent overabundance of mediocre sports spoofs and mindless blockbuster mockeries. “The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard” (or, as it should have been called – “The Goods: Too Little. Too Late.”), features Jeremy Piven and a handful of leftovers from Will Ferrell comedies. Sadly, it outstays its welcome even before it starts. At least it utilizes the typical tactics of juvenile comedy: colorful obscenities, semi-euphemistic sexual references, racial slurs, expected celebrity cameos, boy-band bashing, and a mangy angel accompanied by a cursing Greek chorus. Well, the last one’s not so usual, but the originality practically escapes this childish adult comedy that may have worked better a few years ago. But probably not.

In a desperate attempt to save his rapidly failing used car dealership, Ben Selleck (James Brolin) hires a crack team of “car mercenaries” to ramp up sales during the Fourth of July weekend. Led by the fast-talking, foul-mouthed, self-assured, weird, and crude Don “The Goods” Ready (Jeremy Piven), the group has three days to sell over 200 cars from a tired lot – comparable to the bus station in “Total Recall.” But as Don undertakes his newest mission, and quickly falls for the boss’s daughter, Ivy (Jordana Spiro), he realizes he’ll have to trust more than his cars and his crafty skills in deceit to make a success out of the daunting holiday.

Since when have used car salesmen been the stars of a movie? It’s a brave choice, and a funny idea for a “Saturday Night Live” skit, but “The Goods” turns out to be an experiment in crudity. This assortment of vile and despicable characters could have been equally as humorous in any situation. It’s essentially gobs of naughty dialogue flooding the shells of simplistic supporting roles (the best of which is DJ Request – nobody tells him what to play). The plot is entirely pointless, serving to connect a series of disgustingly unpolished verbal abuse. “I feel like a smurf just jizzed in my face!” cries Ken Jeong. Indeed.

Don Ready explains his flirtation method as the “buckshot approach,” meaning he keeps firing until he hits something. The entire movie can be summed up with that same analogy: vulgar verbiage and tasteless acts are catapulted at the viewer continuously and in an unrelenting salvo, with the hopes of getting a reaction. But most sequences fall flat or are elementary punchlines, never building any complex gags or meaningful humor. Perhaps producer Will Ferrell should have had a larger part in curbing the film to his own audience – then, at least, it could have been a Will Ferrell movie. In the end, it’s just a bunch of humorless, dirty tricks, lies, and strippers, much like the various gimmicks the assortment of abject employees in the film utilize to swindle their clients.

– The Massie Twins

  • 3/10