Coyote Ugly

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Coyote Ugly Movie Poster Image
Sexist, shallow movie about bar has sex, lots of drinking.
  • PG-13
  • 2000
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No real positive messages. Difficulties, challenges in trying to become a successful songwriter new to New York City are shown. Women (and a man) are objectified for money. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. The clichés of the story prevent Violet from being a positive role model for aspiring songwriters. 

Violence

Some scuffles and punches, character injured by a car off-camera. Bar fights shown: punches, broken bottles. 

Sex

Sex scene between the male and female lead: breasts shown, buttocks only covered by a thong. Sexual innuendo in the dialogue: bartender talks of how, after they had a fight, "we made up ... twice." The term "Coyote Ugly" is defined by the owner of the bar; it involves waking up next to a one-night stand. Talk of how there was "not a dry seat in the house" when Kevin danced on the bar as the female bar patrons ogled him and made bids in an auction to spend the evening with him. Sexually provocative dancing. 

Language

Occasional profanity: "d--k," "bitch," "hell," "ass." Sexual innuendo in the dialogue. Sex-themed one-liners like "not a dry seat in the house." 

Consumerism

Gratuitous product placement in some scenes: Lean Cuisine and Irish Spring referenced directly. McDonald's, KFC, and Pepto Bismol products clearly shown. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes in a bar in which patrons binge drink and act drunk -- getting into fights, making unwanted sexual advances. Binge drinking is glamorized and glorified. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Coyote Ugly is a 2000 movie in which Piper Perabo plays a struggling songwriter in New York City who finds work as a bartender in a raucous dive bar. There's one sex scene between the male and female lead in which breasts are shown, and female buttocks are covered only by a thong. Violet does something of a striptease for her beau, ostensibly to make him nervous. There are a number of jokes about the girls' sexual availability but no evidence that they engage in casual sex. Occasional sex-themed insinuations and one-liners are heard. Infrequent profanity includes "d--k," "bitch," "hell," and "ass." Drinking, even drinking to excess, is handled lightheartedly, and drinking hard liquor is considered a sign of strength. Bar fights are shown, with punches and broken bottles. Gratuitous product placement occurs in some scenes: characters shown eating from clearly marked fast-food packages, and dialogue that directly mentions products. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNatasha Lennox February 4, 2014
Parent of a 13 year old Written byClare L. May 5, 2017

Beware sex scene!

I put this on for my 13 year old daughter because generally I don't question it if it's got a PG-13 rating (or 12 as it is here in the UK. So I was pr... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byWith Hearts October 30, 2009
It was pretty good, but the transitions between certain scenes weren't smooth. And I didn't really like the idea of Violet turning in to a hooker-look... Continue reading

What's the story?

COYOTE UGLY is owned by Lil (Mario Bello), who has a tough exterior but a heart of gold. She tells Violet (Piper Perabo) that the bar is successful because men have 2-year-olds in their pants, and she knows how to keep the 2-year-olds happy. The girls are supposed to appear available but not be available and make the customers crazy but not too crazy. Violet must, of course, conquer her stage fright and get a darling boyfriend with a dark secret (Adam Garcia). She has to try to make up with her adored father (John Goodman). He's disappointed in her and embarrassed about what she's doing. And Violet has to try to make it as a songwriter when no one wants to listen to the songs she composes on the roof of her picturesque but working-class apartment building.

Is it any good?

The people behind Flashdance have delivered another movie with about the same level of believability, but with a little less flash and a lot less dance. You won't see much dance on-screen. There are no full-fledged dance numbers, just snippets of glorious long legs stomping on the bar and glimpses of glorious upper bodies as the girls hose down the paying customers. And fair warning up front: The delectable Tyra Banks appears as a Coyote bartender very briefly before going off to finish law school(!).

Flashdance gave us, unforgettably, the steel welder who wanted to be a ballerina and made extra money doing elaborate postmodern erotic dances in a working-class bar in Pittsburgh. Coyote Ugly gives us a pizza waitress from New Jersey who wants to make it as a songwriter in the big city. She is too shy to sing her songs in public, so of course she gets a job that requires her to be an exhibitionist, in the working-class bar of the title, famous for its glorious bartenders and the way they display their glory. Think Cocktail starring the Spice Girls.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about drinking in movies. How was binge drinking glorified in this movie? Did it go too far in making binge drinking seem like it's without consequences, or was it simply trying to reflect the realities of what it's like inside a packed and raucous bar like Coyote Ugly? 

  • Families could also talk about the demeaning way that the girls in the bar see men's view of women, the ways that women convey sexuality and availability, and the problems that can occur if you don't have huge bouncers on hand, as they do at the bar.

  • Some scenes featured gratuitous product placement. Does the use of clearly marked or directly referenced products pose a problem for you? Does it interfere with your enjoyment of the movie, or is it something you find easy to ignore? 

Movie details

For kids who love dancing

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