“The Goods” is an unabashedly outrageous comedy about a team of hard-charging, harder-living, hardest-partying “mercenary” car salesmen who go from town to town for short-term sales promotions, racking up huge sales numbers, eating take-out, going to strip clubs, getting wasted, and having sex. They like to talk about how they don’t break the rules, but they bend them pretty far. They have each other’s back and don’t trust civilians (anyone who has settled down in one place). They behave immaturely but they think a lot of themselves, and we know this because they tell us. In very graphic terms.
I know what you’re thinking: Apatow, Sandler, or Ferrell?
It’s Ferrell (whose cameo is one of the movie’s highlights). Will Ferrell’s production company is behind this movie, which explains how it manages to be both nasty and genial. Jeremy Piven tweaks his “Entourage” character as Don Ready, a guy who can talk his way into or out of just about anything, including not just being allowed to smoke on a plane but being cheered by every passenger and flight attendant for each puff. Farrell regulars David Koechner, Rob Riggle, Kathryn Hahn (especially funny), and Craig Robinson are joined by “The Hangover’s” Ed Helms and Ken Jeong, the “look, I’m not really the stiff you think I am” James Brolin and Alan Thicke, and the “I define what is cool” Ving Rhames.
Humor can serve many purposes, and one of the most enduring is the chance to see someone say and do things we are not allowed to, and then get away with it, and then not get away with it. The guys who say offensive things are not as bad as the guys who do offensive things but are not manly enough to be profane. And that is the foundation of this film. It’s Ferrell’s viral sensation “The Landlord” made with (chronological) adults. This is slash and burn, shock and awe comedy and it’s cheery outrageousness makes enough of it work to, in Don Ready’s terms, make the sale.
Parents should know that this film has extremely strong, vulgar, and offensive language including ethnic and racial slurs and very crude, humorous but intentionally provocative sexual references and explicit situations, strippers, sex toys, drinking, smoking, drug use, comic violence, and profane singing angels.
Family discussion: What makes someone a good salesman? Why was Don so effective at persuading people?
If you like this, try: “Used Cars”