Plot summary (with possible spoilers): Ben Selleck (played by James Brolin) is the owner of a struggling used car lot. His sales force consists of a bunch of mostly incompetent people, so it’s no surprise that they can’t move any of the cars. Without any cash coming in, Selleck is in danger of losing the business that has been in his family for 40 years. Instead of buying the best seo software and trying to sell cars via his website, he opts to call in a team of mercenary salesmen led by the legendary Don Ready (Jeremy Piven).
Ready and his crew — Jibby (Ving Rhames), Babs (Kathryn Hahn), and Brent (David Koechner) — descend on the scene and immediately put together a plan to sell all 140 cars over the 4th of July weekend. The plan includes such gimmicks as a DJ, free hot dogs, a giant inflatable gorilla, and high price markups so the salesmen can pretend to offer good deals for the customers.
As the film progresses, the viewer learns a bit more about Ready’s past, including the tragic skydiving death of a friend and fellow salesman that still haunts him to this day. In fact, things become so overwhelming that Don leaves in the middle of the 4th of July sale, essentially taking away all hope of saving the Selleck business. He realizes he must come to terms with his past and stop blaming himself for McDermott’s death so he can move on with his life.
Fortunately, the rest of Don’s team is able to rally the troops. Apparently everyone learned just enough from Don about selling that they’re able to move all the inventory and triumph over the evil Stu Harding (Alan Thicke). Don returns in time to sell the last car to seal the victory for the good guys.
My Reaction: Going in, I understood that The Goods was supposed to be a comedy along the lines of Walk Hard or Talladega Nights, so I wasn’t expecting anything intelligent. But this film was pretty bad, even when set against low expectations.
I love Jeremy Piven on Entourage, but he proved here that he’s simply not a big enough presence to carry an entire movie on his own. He was annoying and cheesy as Don Ready. I get that the cheesy part was probably intended, but it just wasn’t funny at all. From that ridiculous smoking scene on the airplane straight through to the end, I don’t recall a single LOL moment involving him.
The supporting cast wasn’t any better, and well, I’m sure you know how dumb the storylines are for these types of movies, so don’t look to the plot for relief. Not even the Will Ferrell cameo could save this disaster.
Overall, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard was a huge waste of time. It was train-wreck bad — you know you shouldn’t watch, but you can’t help it — and utterly cringe-worthy in some places. Avoid this one at all costs. I give it 1 star out of 5.