Tag Archives: an accidental yet wholly predictable digression

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Movie genres, you may or may not have noticed, should be sorted by decades as well as types. 1950s screwball romantic comedies, for example, are quite different from 1990s staples such as Sleepless in Seattle. 1970s horror movies are a very different[1] thing from the 1980s slasher-dominated field, which is different again from the 1990s slickly self-aware and post-modern era. (The 2000s, across all film genres, are the decade of remakes.) My point, which may otherwise be lost in an accidental yet wholly predictable digression, is this: if you think that the 1980s comedy genre in which as much ridiculous shit is crammed into each scene as humanly possible and in which, often, the misfits battle it out with their traditionally powerful rivals for control of [the summer camp/the car wash/the campus/the used car lot] is the very best decade for comedy, then you should ought to go see The Goods. Because whoever wrote and/or directed the movie absolutely thinks so too.

I’ve already pretty well described the movie exactly, but to give it fair shrift: a failing car lot hires professional traveling car salesmen led by Jeremy Piven to come in on the Fourth of July weekend and move a lot of merchandise. Occasionally offensive[2] but generally funny hi-jinx ensue until[3] an ill-considered bet against a rival car lot threatens the whole team. Looking back, I can’t say exactly why it struck me so, but the Abe Lincoln skydiving scene was the hardest I’ve laughed at a piece of film since the Japanese investors came to Arrested Development.

[1] and, I would argue, more primally evil
[2] again, in exactly the kinds of ways you’d expect a 1980s comedy to be offensive; no surprises here
[3] well, they continue the ensuing trend after the second act turn as well, don’t get me wrong