People are shocked when they find out I haven't seen their favorite, classic, essential-addition-to-the-pop-cultural-cannon film. So I made a list, and am working my way through. Join me as I watch your favorite movie for the first time.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS UPON WATCHING "COYOTE UGLY" FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2016:
I don't recognize a single actor in this film so far.
This waitress is stunning!! Who is this actress?!
(Update: her name is Piper Perabo and she was in the 2010-2014 tv show "Covert Affairs" and one of her notable quotes on IMDB is the following, confusing statement: "I think that you love who you love, and there are people who you love that people aren't going to understand why, and that sort of doesn't really matter.")
I assume each of the women on this wall of photos of "girls who left this New Jersey diner to move to NYC" promptly ended up as plot lines on Law & Order. This seems to be the implication.
OH I KNOW THIS ACTRESS PLAYING THE BEST FRIEND. I LISTENED TO HER MARC MARON PODCAST. (Update: she is named Melanie Lynske and she's in a particularly great episode of Maron's podcast, he is super compassionate and they have a wonderful shy kind of conversation.)
I recognize the dad! He's Roseanne's husband! Roseanne's husband is not pleased that his beautiful waitress daughter is leaving.
"I put pepper spray in your purse. Even if you're not sure just start spraying." -- that's a great line.
Best friend actress Melanie Lynske is originally from New Zealand, and she has this beautiful lilt to her voice, and here she is dedicating herself harder to this Jersey accent than anyone else.
Whitney the single mom receptionist is my favorite of the unhelpful "this is how NYC works" receptionists so far.
Who is this Australian leading man? He's SO handsome. What happened to this actor?! (Update: his name is Adam Garcia and he was Fiyero in Wicked! So he did alright.)
Turns out Australian guy is not in fact a club music promoter, but is instead a fry cook in the kitchen. Girlfriend, he may not be able to advance your song-writing career but he has an endless supply of burgers and fries which is ALSO AWESOME AND HELPFUL when you're a starving artist.
Following women you don't know as they walk home is not a good technique, Australian guy. WOMEN DO NOT ENJOY THIS. Men, do not try this at home.
Alternate title for this movie: Montages of Unhelpful Receptionists in New York
1 million dollars that Australian Leading Man sees Violet at an open mic night and falls in love with her.
So far the plot is: beautiful girl goes to new town, has fairly chaste capers all night with first guy she meets in town, he becomes her boyfriend. Essentially, Coyote Ugly is a PG-13 version of every Mary Kate & Ashley movie.
Aww, God bless the waiter who gives Violet a free piece of pie when he sees she only has $2. That warms my heart. This is my version of The Christmas Shoes.
IS THAT TYRA BANKS
THAT IS TYRA BANKS
Tyra had no eyebrows in the 90s
AND now we're at the Coyote Ugly.
Do not drink a loose shot off of a bar as part of your dance routine, Coyote girls! You can light the bar-top on fire, that's fine, but drinking anonymous unsupervised alcohol is way more dangerous.
"HELL NO H2O" is the opposite of my life philosophy. Hydration all the way.
You can't just say "forgive me father for I have sinned" into your mirror, that's not how confession works.
Well I guess for Protestants we're cool with confessing/praying anywhere, even into your bedroom mirror.
What a theologically challenging film.
"I don't want to sing my own songs. I want to write songs for other people to sing." -- is this the most practical dream ever for a wish-fulfillment Cinderella film ever?
OH NO VIOLET SPRAYED THE FIRE MARSHAL. We have tricky dynamics with the fire marshal these days too. RELEVANT FILM.
WAIT, her answer to fix the chaos and violence of a mass brawl at the bar is to sing One Way or Another? There are way more dynamic songs. I would sing "Imagine" by John Lennon and a hush would fall over the crowd.
Alternate solution: remove all the violent men trying to destroy the bar.
Because the man with a bucket hat jamming alone in his apartment is playing hip-hop, Violet completely transforms her song from a Jewel ballad to a rocking pop hit. Man with a bucket hat jamming alone is the true hero of Coyote Ugly.
This is the most abrupt and confusing seduction I have ever seen in a film. With the cutest Britney Spears Y2K-era pastel lingerie set ever.
Don't light an unsupervised post-coital candle! You JUST got the Fire Marshal okay with things.
Now for the zoom-in on Australian guys face while he falls in love with her because he's listening to her singing. I assume everyone's face looks like this while they watch my problematic feminist plays, it's just that the lights are too dark in the theatre.
Look at that Macintosh computer!!!! It is HUGE.
Dad sees daughter at work: "I am ashamed you dance on bar tops."
Dad has near-death experience: "You need to follow your dreams and dance on bar tops. It's what your mother would have wanted."
Violet you also can't have all these open candles on your rooftop. FOR SURE. (I have officially become one with the fire marshal. I understand him so well now. Be looking for my new series: Films Through the Eyes of a Fire Marshal. We'll start with the Lord of the Rings series. How many hobbits should be allowed to assemble in one of those teeny hobbit-homes?)
"How does she afford all these candles? Where does she plug in her amp?" - Aliciana re: Violet's rooftop studio
OH NO. Remember when you couldn't reach people when they were out and if you didn't get to the phone in time you'd miss them?
I would love an origin-story prequel of the woman who owns Coyote Ugly. She's so interesting. And she MAKES THINGS HAPPEN instead of being reactionary. She is my true protagonist.
If my love life depended on being home at the right time to accept phone calls/hear voicemails and having coins on hand to make calls on pay-phones I would definitely die alone.
A lot of things are happening v. quickly, but Violet now works at a classy bar and she's been accepted to a song-writer's night at an important venue. Montage of her getting her life together. (How I wish I had the authority to summon those montages for myself and others.)
I KNOW THIS SONG.
YOU CAN TRY TO RESIST. AND SURRENDER YOUR KISS. BUT YOU KNOW YEAH YOU KNOW THAT YOU --
I didn't know that song was from this movie!!!
How likely is it that this film was an elaborate means of releasing Leann Rimes' new single?
This has been very fun in a time-capsuley way.
Credits have alerted me that there's such a thing as a "Dance Double" and I would like one of those for my own life. I get tired at weddings now.