Movie Review: The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard.
If nothing else, "The Goods" adds another great fake business card to the greats of the 2000s, chief among them being the Joker's jester card in "The Dark Knight" and Kevin Gnapoor's math enthusiast card in "Mean Girls."
In "The Goods," Jeremy Piven flashes a card reading "Don Ready: I move cars, [word we're not allowed to write in the newspaper]."
Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and directed by Neal Brennan, co-creator of "Chappelle's Show," "The Goods" is a lot like last summer's "Step Brothers": There's no expectation to take it seriously, even seriously in the comedic sense, and the movie works more like a series of really dirty, improvised sketches loosely centered on the concept of selling cars. It's not a good movie, but if you're willing to blindly accept overwhelming stupidity and trashiness, about 60 percent of it is really funny.
Selleck Motors is going out of business, and with the worst salesmen on Earth unable to sell offthe cars, liquidator Don Ready (Piven) is called in to sell the cars. Piven, Alan Thicke, Ed Helms, Ving Rhames, James Brolin and David Koechner all sell cars for one of two rival dealers.
Don Ready's crew is sort of the homeless man's Ocean's 11. Bipolar DJ Request (Craig Robinsonhilariously insists on playing only songs he wants to play with robotic aggression. Babs (Kathryn Hahn) is trying to seduce, in one of the more tasteless plotlines, a 10-year-old in a 35-year-old's body. Helms was the only one who really didn't get any big laughs; he plays Paxton, a 35-year-old boy band member engaged to sometimes straight man Ivy (Jordan Spiro) -- awkwardness doesn't sell in a movie with strippers, I guess.
And there are a lot of strippers. There's breakfast in a strip club, topless women on a plane and DJ Request cheerfully announcing to a club awaiting a specific stripper, "I've got some bad news. ... Vanessa is dead." In fact, Ready even gives a somewhat tired primer on the, like, Rule of Stripping Three: "Strippers come in threes: college students, single mothers and cocaine addicts."
Really, it's just a movie of trashy throwaway jokes and sketches. The showroom hate crime attack on Ken Jeong's Teddy Dang, incited by a reference to Pearl Harbor, would have been a fabulous late-night stand-alone sketch.
Or, toward the end, Piven is serenaded by a dead friend (Will Ferrell, in a cameo) and two gospel-singing angels, who harmonize nonsequiturs such as "While we're on the subject, 35 is also too old to have a Facebook page."
"The Goods" is for those who want a full hour and a half of random dirty jokes and more Jeremy Piven. Otherwise just see "The Hangover" again and wait until "The Goods" is at Netflix.