Coyote Ugly (film)

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Coyote Ugly
Coyote ugly poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid McNally
Produced by
Written by
Music byTrevor Horn
CinematographyAmir M. Mokri
Edited byWilliam Goldenberg
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • August 4, 2000 (2000-08-04)
Running time
101 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$45 million[3]
Box office$113.9 million[3]

Coyote Ugly is a 2000 American romantic musical comedy-drama film based on Coyote Ugly Saloon.[4][5] It was directed by David McNally, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman, and written by Gina Wendkos. Set in New York City, the film stars Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, John Goodman, Maria Bello, Izabella Miko, Bridget Moynahan and Tyra Banks.[6]

Despite the film's mixed response from critics, it was a box office success, grossing over $113 million worldwide. The film has become a cult classic and has acquired a cult following over the years.[7][8]


Violet Sanford leaves her hometown of South Amboy, New Jersey, her father Bill, and her best friend Gloria, to pursue her dreams of becoming a songwriter in nearby New York City. Violet tries multiple times to get her demo tape noticed by the recording studios but is unsuccessful. One night, she tries to get herself noticed by a music industry scout. The bartender jokingly points out Kevin O'Donnell, making her believe that he is the bar owner. When she discovers the joke, Violet feels hurt because she thinks Kevin was trying to make her look foolish. With only a few dollars left in her pocket after her apartment is burglarized, she goes to an all-night diner and notices three girls, Cammie, Rachel, and Zoe, flaunting the hundreds of dollars in tips they earned. After inquiring, she finds out that they work at a trendy bar named Coyote Ugly.

She finds her way to the bar and convinces the bar owner Lil to give her an audition. Violet's first audition does not go well; but after Violet breaks up a fight between two customers, Lil gives her a second audition. At her second audition, Violet douses the fire warden in water which costs Lil $250. However, Lil decides she can work at the bar if she can make up $250 in one night. Kevin turns up at the bar, and Violet auctions him off to another woman at the bar to earn the money. Kevin tells Violet that she owes him, so Violet agrees to go on four dates with him. The two begin a relationship.

Kevin commits himself to helping Violet overcome her stage fright, which she is informed she'll have to do to have her songs heard. Violet tells Kevin she inherited her stage fright from her now deceased mother, who also moved to New York in her youth to pursue her dreams of singing. Violet's stage fright mostly extends to singing her original pieces, as she's able to sing in the bar doing karaoke to help Cammie and Rachel, break up a fight between customers.

One night, a patron takes a picture of Violet in the middle of a raunchy move with water pouring on her. When the picture appears in the paper, her dad Bill sees it and gets angry at her. She keeps the job despite her dad's wishes, but shortly thereafter gets fired when Kevin gets into a fight at the bar. She and Kevin then break up. With her dreams not working and her job at the bar terminated, Violet goes to New Jersey for Gloria's wedding. Bill gets into a car accident which almost prompts Violet to move back to New Jersey, but Bill convinces her not to give up while telling her the truth that her mother didn't actually have a problem with stage-fright and quit singing because of Bill.

Back in New York Lil visits Violet at a restaurant where she is now working and the two make amends. Violet finishes a new song and later performs it at an open mic night at the Bowery Ballroom after a difficult start with the Coyotes from the Coyote Ugly saloon, Bill, Gloria, and Kevin all there for moral support. The performance leads to a deal with a record label. The film concludes back at Coyote Ugly with LeAnn Rimes, having recorded Violet's song, singing on the bar as Violet joins in and Violet kissing Kevin celebrating her dream coming true.




Kevin Smith, who did an uncredited rewrite of the script, stated that a total of eight writers worked on the script while the Writers Guild of America only gave credit to Gina Wendkos, who wrote the first draft of the script, which, according to Smith, scarcely resembles the final film.[1] (See WGA screenwriting credit system.)


Early on, before the producers decided to cast mostly unknown actors, the lead role of Violet Sanford was offered to pop singer Jessica Simpson, who turned it down.[9]


Principal photography took place in Manhattan and small towns in New Jersey including South Amboy and Sea Bright for a month. Production then moved to California and shooting took place in Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Pasadena, and San Pedro.[10]


The film was based on an article, "The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon", in GQ by Elizabeth Gilbert,[11] who worked as a bartender in the East Village.[12] The bar, which opened in 1993, quickly became a favorite of the Lower East Side hipsters.

As mentioned in the film, the slang term "coyote ugly" refers to the feeling of waking up after a one-night stand, and discovering that one's arm is underneath someone who is so physically repulsive that one would gladly chew it off without waking the person just so one can get away without being discovered. Coyotes are known to gnaw off limbs if they are stuck in a trap, to facilitate escape.


Box office[edit]

Coyote Ugly opened fourth at the North American box office making US$17,319,282 in its opening weekend. It went on to gross $60,786,269 domestically and $53,130,205 around the world to a total of $113,916,474 worldwide, becoming a box office success.[3]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics.[13] Criticisms and praise centered around the belief that it was little more than an excuse to portray "hot, sexy women dancing on a bar in a wet T-shirt contest".[14] On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 23% based on 104 reviews, with an average rating of 3.8/10. The site's consensus states: "Coyote Ugly has an enthusiastically trashy energy and undeniable aesthetic appeal, but it's nowhere near enough to make up for the film's shallow, unimaginative story."[15] On Metacritic it has a weighted average score of 27 out of 100, based on reviews from 29 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[16] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A- on scale of A to F.[17]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times asked "Do you get the feeling these movies are assembled from off-the-shelf parts?" and although he doesn't ask for originality, he criticizes the complete lack of surprises. Ebert praises the technical merits of the film "But you can pump up the volume only so far before it becomes noise." Ebert called Perabo the "reason to see the movie" saying "She has one of those friendly Julia Roberts smiles, good comic timing, ease and confidence on the screen, and a career ahead of her in movies better than this one. Lots better."[18] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone dismissed the film "Bruckheimer claims he's made a film about female empowerment, but it's soft-core pap for horny boys and their hornier dads."[19] Robert Koehler of Variety called it "The latest and most calculated re-do on the formulaic fantasy of an innocent conquering Gotham."[20]

VH1 made a statement about Rimes' appearance in the film stating, "Rimes [herself], who is only 17 years old, was sporting leather pants and a skimpy top and in all likelihood, even with a fake ID, would never have been allowed inside any NYC bar."[21]

Years after its original release, the film has found success as a cult film and icon of early-2000s fashion and culture.[22][23] Justin Kirkland of Esquire praised the film for "capturing the hilariously sincere optimism of the Year 2000", saying "Coyote Ugly is a categorically bad film, but in its 101 minute run, it manages to capture the vibe of an iconic year that was plucky and unassuming with a delusional and misplaced sense of hope."[24]

Home media[edit]

In summer 2005, an unrated special edition (the original release was rated PG-13 and the director's cut rated R) was released on DVD. It was also released in the UK and rated 15 by the BBFC. (By contrast, the theatrical cut was rated 12 in the UK.)[25]

The extended cut adds approximately six minutes to the film's runtime, most of which consists of additional shots of the "coyotes" dancing on the bar and of Violet and Cammie trying on different outfits while shopping. Arguably, the most notable additions are the extension of the sex scene between Violet and Kevin (Perabo used a body double for most of the scene), and the inclusion of an additional scene which shows the "Coyotes" winning a softball game because Cammie distracts the pitcher by stripping.[26]

The special features of the extended cut DVD are identical with those of the previous DVD release.


The film's soundtrack features Violet's four songs from the film, performed by LeAnn Rimes and written by Diane Warren, as well as several other songs not exclusive to the film. It achieved gold status within one month[27] of its release on August 1, 2000[28] and platinum status on November 7, 2000.[27] On April 18, 2001 the soundtrack was certified 2× Platinum and on January 9, 2002 it was certified 3× Platinum. The soundtrack was certified 4× Platinum on July 22, 2008,[27] was certified 5× Platinum (500,000 units) in Canada[29] and gold (100,000 units) in Japan in 2002.[30]

Three singles were released from the soundtrack, all three by LeAnn Rimes, "Can't Fight the Moonlight" which achieved gold status, became a nearly instant hit on the radio charts and peaked at No. 11 on The Billboard Hot 100,[31] "But I Do Love You" and "The Right Kind of Wrong".[32]

A second soundtrack, More Music from Coyote Ugly, with more songs that appeared in the film and remixes of two of Rimes' songs, followed on January 28, 2003.[33]

Although Perabo was able to sing for her character, it was decided that Rimes, owing to her soprano-type voice, would provide Violet's singing voice far better for the role. This means that during Rimes' cameo, she is effectively duetting with herself.

Coyote Ugly soundtrack[edit]

Coyote Ugly
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedAugust 1, 2000
ProducerJerry Bruckheimer, Kathy Nelson, Mike Curb, Trevor Horn, Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar, Greg Ladayi, Ralph Jezzard, Snap!, John Boylan, Michael Lloyd, Don Cook, Chris Waters, Brad Gilderman, Harvey Mason, Jr.
Singles from Coyote Ugly
  1. "Can't Fight the Moonlight"
    Released: August 22, 2000
  2. "But I Do Love You"
    Released: February 9, 2001[34]
  3. "The Right Kind of Wrong"
    Released: 2001[32]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[35]
Entertainment WeeklyD[36]
No.TitleRecording artist(s)Length
1."Can't Fight the Moonlight" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell)LeAnn Rimes3:35
2."Please Remember"LeAnn Rimes4:34
3."The Right Kind of Wrong" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell)LeAnn Rimes3:47
4."But I Do Love You" (feat. string arrangements by David Campbell)LeAnn Rimes3:21
5."All She Wants to Do Is Dance"Don Henley4:30
7."The Power"Snap!3:40
8."Need You Tonight"INXS3:10
9."The Devil Went Down to Georgia"The Charlie Daniels Band3:36
10."Boom Boom Boom"Rare Blend3:22
11."Didn't We Love"Tamara Walker3:24
12."We Can Get There" (TP2K Hot Radio Mix)Mary Griffin3:59
Total length:44:27
Chart performance
Chart (2000/01) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[37] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[37] 2
Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart[37] 7
Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart[37] 43
Canadian RPM Country Albums 1[citation needed]
Canadian Albums Chart 4[citation needed]
Danish Albums Chart[37] 6
Dutch Albums Chart[37] 60
Finnish Albums Chart[37] 9
French Albums Chart[37] 117
Norwegian Albums Chart[37] 3
Spanish Albums Chart[37] 47
Swedish Albums Chart[37] 29
Swiss Albums Chart[37] 9
US Billboard 200 9[citation needed]
US Billboard Top Country Albums 1[citation needed]
US Billboard Soundtracks 3[citation needed]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[38] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[39] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[40] Gold 25,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[41] Gold 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[42] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] Platinum 300,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[44] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[45] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

More Music from Coyote Ugly[edit]

More Music from Coyote Ugly
More Music from Coyote Ugly.jpg
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedJanuary 28, 2003
ProducerJerry Bruckheimer, Kathy Nelson, Mike Curb, Trevor Horn, Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar, Greg Ladayi, Ralph Jezzard, Snap!, John Boylan, Michael Lloyd, Don Cook, Chris Waters, Brad Gilderman, Harvey Mason, Jr.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[46]
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording artist(s)Length
1."One Way or Another"Debbie Harry; Nigel HarrisonBlondie3:31
2."Rebel Yell"Billy Idol; Steve StevensBilly Idol4:47
3."Rock This Town"Brian SetzerStray Cats2:39
4."Keep Your Hands to Yourself"Dan BairdThe Georgia Satellites3:22
5."Out of My Head"Tony ScalzoFastball2:33
6."Battle Flag" (Lo-Fidelity Allstars Remix)Steve Fisk; Shawn SmithPigeonhed3:58
7."It Takes Two"Robert GinyardRob Base and DJ E-Z Rock5:00
8."Love Machine"Warren Moore; William GriffinThe Miracles2:59
9."We Can Get There" (Almighty Radio Edit)Deborah AllenMary Griffin3:59
Bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording artist(s)Length
10."Can't Fight the Moonlight" (Graham Stack Radio Edit)Diane WarrenLeAnn Rimes3:30
11."But I Do Love You" (Almighty Radio Edit)Diane WarrenLeAnn Rimes4:02
Total length:40:20

Other songs in the film[edit]

The following songs appear in the film, but are on neither of the two released soundtracks.


  1. ^ a b "Kevin on his involvement in 'Coyote Ugly'". The View Askewniverse. Retrieved October 7, 2005.
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  3. ^ a b c "Coyote Ugly (2000)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  4. ^ "Coyote Ugly". Empire. January 1, 2000. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "25 Years Later, Women Still Run the Coyote Ugly Saloon". InsideHook. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Simon; Fletcher, Rosie (August 26, 2018). "Where are the cast of Coyote Ugly now?". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
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  19. ^ Travers, Peter (August 4, 2000). "Coyote Ugly". Rolling Stone.
  20. ^ Koehler, Robert (August 4, 2000). "Coyote Ugly". Variety.
  21. ^ "LeAnn Rimes : LEANN RIMES: UNDERAGE AND DANCING ON THE COYOTE UGLY BAR – Rhapsody Music Downloads". VH1. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  22. ^ Nichols, Mackenzie (August 4, 2020). "'Coyote Ugly' at 20: Piper Perabo and Tyra Banks on the Cult Hit and a Potential Sequel". Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
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  31. ^ "LeAnn Rimes: Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved January 12, 2006.
  32. ^ a b "iTunes Music – Right Kind of Wrong – Remixes – Single by LeAnn Rimes". iTunes Store. August 28, 1982. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  33. ^ "More Music From Coyote Ugly: Various Artists: Music". Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  34. ^ Country Corner. Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  35. ^ Phares, Heather (August 1, 2000). "Coyote Ugly – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  36. ^ Morgan, Laura (September 4, 2000). "Coyote Ugly Soundtrack Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
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  39. ^ "Canadian album certifications – various Artists – Coyote Ugly – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Music Canada. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  40. ^ "Danish album certifications – Soundtrack – Coyote Ugly". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  41. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Movie Coyote Ugly Soundtrack – Leann Rimmes" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved June 29, 2019. Select 2003年3月 on the drop-down menu
  42. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Soundtrack; 'Coyote Ugly')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  43. ^ "British album certifications – Original Soundtrack – Coyote Ugly". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved December 26, 2018. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Coyote Ugly in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  44. ^ "American album certifications – Soundtrack – Coyote Ugly". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 9, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  45. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2003". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  46. ^ Rovi (January 28, 2003). "More Music from Coyote Ugly – Original Soundtrack : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved June 2, 2012.

External links[edit]