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Film / Coyote Ugly

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For some, this poster is as good as it gets...

Jerry Bruckheimer: "So, let me get this straight: This script is about a strip club where the four employees don't take off their clothes. And they're too busy dancing —completely dressed— on top of the bar to serve anyone a drink. Yet the bar is so popular that there's a giant line to get in. I sent the script to the people who wrote Gilligan's Island and they sent it back with a note that said 'This is preposterous!'"
Seanbaby, hanging a lampshade on the film as only he can.

Coyote Ugly is a 2000 comedy-drama produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by David McNally about songwriter Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo), who moves to New York City to try to make it big with her music. She ends up getting a job at the eponymous woman-run bar, which prominently features scantily-clad bar-dancers teasing the male patrons. She eventually comes out of her shell with the help of her Australian boyfriend (Adam Garcia) and the girls at Coyote Ugly.

Best remembered for its Cult Soundtrack (which featured the crossover LeAnn Rimes hit "Can't Fight the Moonlight") and its bait-and-switch trailer (which led viewers to believe the movie would be 90 minutes of T&A and sexy adventures; the actual movie is a Chick Flick through and through).


This film includes examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: Zoe, played by Tyra Banks, appears prominently on the poster even though she only appears in two scenes, with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in the final scene.
  • Ambiguously Bi: After mistakenly thinking that Violet was hitting on her, Cammy explains that she isn't a lesbian, saying that she 'played in the minors, but never went pro', indicating some past history with women that she did not commit to.
  • As Herself: LeAnn Rimes, who appears in the end.
  • Bachelor Auction: First, Violet auctions off her boyfriend to repay a fine she'd caused; then, at the movie's end, she uses another Bachelor Auction as an excuse for her father to hook up with a cute redhead in whom he's interested and who's there with him, but whom he's too anxious about asking out.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bar Brawl: On a couple of occasions, during one of which the jukebox is broken at the climax.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Everyone does this
  • Beer Goggles: Discussed when Lil explains the meaning of the bar's name to a patron.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The pizzeria owner at the start notes that he feels the wall filled with 20 years of girl's signatures who quit and left to try and make it in New York is 'jinxed' as none of them appear to have. Late in the film, Bill 'buys' Violet's signature off the wall and Violet then succeeds.
  • Cold Cash: Violet's friend tosses a wad of cash in her freezer 'in case of an emergency' (apparently not realizing that that's one of the first places burglars search, as Violet later learns the hard way).
  • Country Mouse: Violet.
  • Darkest Hour: In a literal few minutes, Kevin sees a patron dancing with Violet and brawls him, which leads to them breaking up. Lil then fires Violet on the spot because of her 'no boyfriends in the bar' rule. Soon after in the film, Bill is hospitalized in a car accident. After all this, Violet almost gives up and moves back to New Jersey.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Several characters but especially Lil, the bar owner.
  • Discreet Drink Disposal: Cammy teaches Violet a trick to help her cope with the shots that customers keep treating her to: "chase it with a beer," which is to say spitting the alcohol back out into a beer bottle while pretending to take a swig. Keeps everyone happy, as long as nobody loses track of their spit bottle.
  • The Ditz: Cammie
  • Failed Audition Plot: Violet mails her demos to various record labels after moving to New York to pursue a career in the music business, only to have them all returned with no sign of interest. Working at the Coyote Ugly helps to give her the courage she needs to continue trying.
  • Failure Montage: Violet trying to get apathetic or rude industry executives to take her demo tapes. At the end of it, she learns that the only way she'll get her songs out is to perform them live.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: The bar seems to run on this.
  • Faux Yay: The coyotes play up everything, including how physically intimate they are with one another, for example, Cammy and Violet sliding against one another and embracing during a bar performance of "All She Wants To Do Is Dance".
  • Flair Bartending: Played straight with the veteran barkeeps who have been doing the job for a while. It's averted for comedy with Violet/Jersey, whose attempts fail whens she tries.
  • Hometown Nickname: Violet is nicknamed 'Jersey', after her home state, when she begins working at the bar.
  • I Have No Daughter!: After Bill's co-workers start putting up newspaper photos of Violet in their booths, he goes to the bar to see what's really going on and finds his little girl drenched in water writhing on the bar. He stops taking her calls for a while and, at Gloria's wedding, tells her that he's ashamed of her. It takes a call from an emergency room for them to reconcile.
  • In the Blood: Violet saw her stage-fright as inherited from her Mother, also a musician. It turned out that she actually was great on-stage and quit her career for the sake of Violet and Bill.
  • Male Gaze: Might as well have been called "Male Gaze: The Movie".
  • Manchild: Bill has traits. Violet regulates his diet and travels back to New Jersey once a week to do his laundry.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Kevin fits a lot of these qualities as an upbeat, comic-collecting Australian with a Mysterious Past including inexplicable exotic dancing skills whose main job in the story is to help Violet overcome her stage fright.
  • Married to the Job: Lil. She admits it to Violet in one scene, telling her, "I'm married to that bar."
  • Meaningful Echo: During Violet's initial job interview with Lil, Lil jokingly asks about Violet's home town: "Lemme guess: Piedmont, North Dakota?" As she later reveals to Violet before swearing her to secrecy on penalty of death, Piedmont is actually Lil's home town.
  • Meaningful Name: Violet has a double example.
    • The violet is the state flower of New Jersey, her state of origin.
    • She's also a Shrinking Violet at the beginning of the movie.
  • Missing Mom: Violet's mother died prior to the start of the movie
  • Mr. Fanservice: In addition to Kevin's strip scene, we see him on the bed after his love scene with Violet with his crotch only just out of shot.
  • Ms. Fanservice: It's a movie about a good-looking woman along with her equally good-looking colleagues/friends.
  • Mundane Solution: Violet's stage fright magically disappears even knowing people are watching her when all the lights in the room are turned off.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Violet, when she moves to New York at first.
  • Performance Anxiety: The main plot arc for Violet Sanford, who is a talented singer in private but struggles overcoming her nervousness in front of a crowd.
  • The Place: The setting of the story is almost exclusively in the city's very popular bar, Coyote Ugly.
  • Plucky Girl: Violet saves her own job at the bar twice and rescues Rachel and Cammie from being caught in a bar fight with acts of ingenuity and/or bravery.
  • Really Gets Around: Cammie
  • Real-Place Background: Coyote Ugly is an actual chain of bars. How closely the movie represents the actual atmosphere is left to the reader.
  • Rip Tailoring: Violet's first shift at the bar begins with Lil, the owner, ripping off her sleeves and the bottom two inches of her shirt, leaving her in something much more revealing and appropriate to the bar.
  • Sassy Black Woman: "I am dying to make your dreams come true."
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Violet's father is played by overweight John Goodman.
  • Work Hard, Play Hard: Lil enforces her rules for the bar with an iron fist, and fires girls on the spot for breaking them. On the other hand, she was so impressed with Violet's idea to auction off Kevin that she herself placed a bid even though Violet had to do it because she put Lil out of pocket.
    • The other Coyote's too, since dancing and exuberance is part of the job.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Both the male and female version. During the Bachelor Auction, Kevin removes his shirt and partially removes his pants. Later, Violet performs a striptease in the privacy of her bedroom to explain what stage fright feels like for her.