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The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Is Piven as good as Ari Gold in new comedy?

Movie Specs

Starring Jeremy PivenWill FerrellEd HelmsVing RhamesJames BrolinJordana Spiro Movie Poster
Directed By Neal Brennan Certificate 15
Running Time 90 mins
UK Release Date October 23, 2009
Genre Comedy
Our Rating
User Rating

A good rule of thumb with movies is that a bad title usually means a poor film. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard is right up there as a terrible moniker with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Mrs Caldicott’s Cabbage Wars. As a film it’s arguably worse.

Even by the Hollywood sausage factory standards this is as limp a comedy as you could see. James Brolin owns a failing car dealership, so for the July 4th weekend he calls in ace salesman Jeremy Piven and his team, who are, of course, mavericks. They have – who could guess – three days to sell all the cars on the lot, or it will be handed to Brolin’s daughter’s obnoxious fiancée.

The script resorts to almost anything to get a laugh, including Brolin’s crush on one of Piven’s salesmen, a nymphomaniac chasing a 10-year-old and a particularly feeble running gag about a grumpy DJ. It’s not clear what actors of the quality of Piven and Brolin are doing in this, as the material would barely be excusable for an actor trying to get their foot in the door.

It may be a vessel to launch the film career of Jordana Spiro, and the producers are to be congratulated on ‘discovering’ someone blander and with less talent than the usual Hollywood bimbo – complete with bad boob job. Piven can be a fine actor but he needs a decent script, and here he is clearly sleepwalking through his tired cliché of a part as the hotshot. Brolin looks terrible and Rhames out of it.

Talking of the producers, one is no other than Will Ferrell, trying to resurrect a career after a series of comedy flops. He has a cameo here as a salesman, but it adds nothing to the film or his drooping reputation.

Just about the only recommendation is the strangely wonderful soundtrack, which is presumably available as a download. Put it on your iPod and stand in the forecourt of your local garage, and you will almost certainly have more fun than watching this.

Overall verdict: Comedy flop with Piven trying desperately to save a flick that should have gone straight to the bargain DVD bin, with a script that should have gone straight in a real bin.

Reviewer: Mike Martin

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