Gregg Delivers The Goods

I first saw the trailer for The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, starring Jeremy Piven, in July.  Based on what I saw, I had no desire to see this film.  The whole speech on the plane that Piven gives about the alleged right to smoke on a flight is just hokey to the Nth degree and completely fake.  I know, what’s wrong with me?  I can suspend disbelief and watch cars transform into robots, but when someone convinces a stewardess that he should be allowed to smoke on the plane, I can’t buy into it. 

In The Goods, we find veteran car salesman Ben Selleck trying to save his dealership from closing.  Sales are dead, his employees are stagnant and the lot is virtually devoid of customers.  Enter sales mercenary Don Ready (Piven) whose business card displays nothing more than a phone number and the words “Don Ready, I move cars mother f*****.”  With no one else to turn to, Selleck calls upon Ready’s services to inject some life into the financially dormant car lot.  Ready and his three teammates of Jibby (Ving Rhames), Brent (David Koechner) and Babs (Kathryn Hahn) make their way to Temecula, California, the location of Selleck Motors, where they give fertilizer-laden pep talks to the salesmen in the hopes of reigniting their sales spark. 

Along the way, Ready and his crew meet Paxton Harding, played by Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover), who happens to be the fiancé of Selleck’s daughter.  Harding has a hidden agenda in hoping for the demise of the dealership while also focusing his efforts on his way-past-their-prime boy band, BigUps.  Also entering the family fray is Ben Selleck’s 10-year old son, Peter (Rob Riggle), who I’m going to guess is well over 6 feet tall and somewhere in the realm of 250 pounds.  Hey, it’s a pituitary problem.  Leave the kid alone.  Needless to say that Babs can’t keep herself from a disturbingly humorous sexual pursuit of the youthful behemoth. 

I was betting the trailer was going to show all the good parts of the film and when viewing time came, feared that I’d be out my $6.25 matinee fee from watching a less than laughable film.  But wait a second, I said the same thing about The Hangover and that has turned out to be my #2 movie of the year and one of my favorite comedies of all time.  Will The Goods deliver?  Yes and no.  The good news is not all the best parts were saved for the trailer and the film does deliver on the laughs, but not with the regularity or intensity provided by The Hangover.  The Goods is crude yet sporadic with the funny lines but was entertaining nonetheless.  Jeremy Piven filled his role well as the fast-talking sales guru while the supporting cast was reminiscent of a Hangover reunion (Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Rob Riggle). 

One would be hard-pressed to say The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard is worth the price of cinema admission, let alone that of an evening showing.  The laughs are inevitable but by no means are they overflowing.  A more appropriate recommendation is to wait until the Blu-ray comes out and watch it at home for the price of a rental.  The final verdict on this one is not “Buy, Buy, Buy!” but “Rent, rent, rent.” 





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