Jeremy Piven stars as Don Ready, who leads a sort of "freelance" team of car salesmen (Ving Rhames, David Koechner, and Kathryn Hahn) who rent their services out to dealerships. For the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, they've been hired by Temecula, CA, dealer Ben Selleck (James Brolin) whose family dealership is on the verge of bankruptcy. His employees (Tony Hale, Ken Jeong, Charles Napier, and Jonathan Sudowski) are all apprehensive about the so-called "mercenaries" taking away their commissions, but Ready's team helps motivate them to be better sellers. Don, however, is distracted by Selleck's daughter Ivy (Jordana Spiro) and starts to consider finally settling down. Unfortunately for him, she's engaged to Paxton Harding (Ed Helms) the son of Ben's main rival dealer — and an aspiring pop star.
While promoting the movie, Piven (along with Jeong) guest-hosted an episode of Monday Night Raw. While almost all of the celebrity guest hosts were hated by the fans, Piven's appearance is generally considered to have been the hands-down worst out of all of them, due mainly to his complete lack of knowledge about professional wrestling.
Tropes found in this film
- Anything That Moves: Both Babs and Jibby.
- Bank Robbery: Teddy thinks he has made a sale when the customer pays "in cash, in non-sequential bills, neatly packed in a canvas bag" with a bank logo on it. The dye pack goes off in Teddy's face while the "customer" speeds off in a car.
- The Cameo: Will Ferrell as Craig McDermott, a former member of the team, who died performing a stunt for a President's Day sale (jumping out of a plane dressed as Abraham Lincoln)."Just like John Wilkes Booth, our prices will sneak up behind you and blow your brains out!"
- Chewbacca Defense: Ready is able to smoke on an airplane, after reminding the crew and passengers that when smoking was still legal on airplanes, "...we put a man on the moon."
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm: PaxtonPaxton: We once opened for O-Town. You can Google it.Babs: We did, it said you sucked.Paxton: Was that O-Town's website?
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Surprisingly averted. Babs confesses having Perverse Sexual Lust for Peter, but both Don and Jibby are appalled and call her out on the fact that he's still psychologically and emotionally a ten-year-old boy.
- Expy: Dick Lewiston (Charles Napier) is basically a more vulgar version of Creed Bratton.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Ready attempts to pacify an angry crowd after scheduled performer Bo Bicenote no shows by singing karaoke. It doesn't work.Brent: I probably should've said something... Don is a terrible singer.
- Insistent Terminology: Paxton is in a Man Band, not a Boy Band.
- The Long List: "I've been with hundreds of women, maybe even thousands! I've done three-ways, four-ways, menage-a-trois, menage-a-six, sixty-nined, eighty-nined, one-twenty-nined, golden-, diamond-, and platinum-showered... but I've never made love."
- Non-Indicative Name: DJ Request (Craig T. Robinson) does not take requests. Do not test him.
- Powder Keg Crowd: After Bice no-shows and Ready butchers Bob Seger on karaoke, the audience quickly becomes violent, smashing cars and windows, and knocking down stilt walkers. Someone actually releases an alligator!
- Product Placement: To an almost ridiculous extent. Ready and Co. regularly stay at the Hacienda Courts motel chain. Later, when having dinner with the Selleck family, Ready instead pulls out a bag of Arby's take out to enjoy.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ready attempts to give one to Paxton (who had just finished giving a "reason I'm awesome" speech about his clothes, hairstyle, and girlfriend) but gets interrupted."First off, you look like you just snapped into a Slim Jim. Second..."
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Dick openly bashes "Jews, queers, and Eskimos". He also has a distrust of Teddy (Ken Jeong) from being a World War II veteran.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: One in the credits over this exchange:Don: "You don't wanna know what happened in 'Querqe"Ivy: "Actually, I do."
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Parodied.
- Wrong Parachute Gag: How Will Ferrell's character dies: he unknowingly took a backpack full of sex toys instead of the actual parachute for his stunt. And in his desperation, he tried to cushion his fall with a dildo.
- X Called; They Want Their Y Back: "Hey Paxton, Lance Bass called. He said... ah fuck it."