Jake and I went to see The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard last night at a screening thanks to Scene-Stealers. (Sidebar: if you are not following the Scene-Stealers feed, you are missing out.) You would be hard pressed to keep me away from a movie with Jeremy Piven as the star â€” I’ve loved The Pivs from way back in the day when he had a significantly bigger forehead.
In fact, his performance in this totally average comedy from Adam McKay and Will Ferrell was extremely reminiscent of his portrayal of James “Droz” Andrews in PCU, the completely underrated Animal House of the ’90s. I’d say that his character Don “The Goods” Ready is closer to Droz than it is to his more popular Ari Gold (of HBO’s Entourage, as if you didn’t know).
Piven carries this movie on his back (as he should, considering he’s the star) with little help from Ferrell/McKay/Apatow stalwarts like David Koechner and Ken Jeong. The movie itself, unfortunately, relies heavily on the mostly unfunny Ving Rhames and a lot of homoerotic jokes from James Brolin. There are some good parts with Kathryn Hahn and Rob Riggle, but they are better left unmentioned. It’s nice to see Hahn with a little bit bigger role. She’s always playing someone’s funny/quirky/sad friend/sister in romantic comedies and I’m glad to see her stretch her legs a little.
I laughed several times during the movie, but I can’t say that there were a lot of standout scenes (or even lines) for me. Just some random silliness about trashy used car mercenaries. When the credits rolled and I looked down at my watch, I realized that the movie came in at almost exactly 90 minutes, which is no small feat, considering that directors these days feel obligated to put at least 120 minutes up on the screen. Even with its short length, there were times where I thought to myself, I hope this gets moving a little quicker. This is particularly true for the obligatory Will-Ferrell-completely-ridiculous-sidebar that nearly ruined the movie for me because it didn’t fit into the story (along the lines of the animated Pleasuretown tangent in Anchorman).
I enjoyed it enough, but I can’t enthusiastically recommend it. If you’re a massive Jeremy Piven fan like me, I’d recommend it without question. But there are only so many of us out there.