What hath Airplane and all those gag-a-second movies of the 1980s ultimately wrought? Well, apparently, according to the critics, The Goods Live Hard, Sell Hard. The movie, and the jokes, move at such break-neck speed that it was apparently hard for the reviewers to get a handle on what makes it work (or not work). Instead, they opt for just going along for the ride. In the end, Manohla Dargis in the New York Times allows "It takes talent to keep so many parts in play and without much letup." Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times doesn't attempt to provide a judgment of the movie so much as to summarize the craziness of it (seemingly not an easy task in itself), finally concluding that his summary is "all another way of saying the screenplay moves at a breakneck pace. If a gag doesn't work, another one is on its heels." John Anderson in Newsday apparently finds the whole affair so chaotic that he doesn't even attempt to provide a description of all the goings-on. Instead, he writes, "You know those nice, sweet, domesticated comedies to which one can bring the entire family without fear of embarrassment, disgust or shock and awe? This isn't one of them." But Lou Lumenick in the New York Post writes that although The Goods is "sporadically funny" it "is more often just plain stupid." Similarly, Roger Moore writes that the movie -- set in the world of used-car salesmen -- "runs in fits and starts, never quite hitting on all cylinders." Jennie Punter in the Toronto Globe and Mail dismisses it as "a raunchy, fast-paced comedy that, nevertheless, is as flat as the tires on the old Volvo gathering dust in my garage." And Mick LaSalle, in the San Francisco Chronicle , wears his confusion about how to review the movie on his sleeve. Something about the movie, he writes, "feels forgettable, even though, in the moment, it's often very funny. In a way, it's unfair to call a movie forgettable, because about 80 percent of the movies we take seriously are probably also forgettable, at least in the grand scheme. But this one feels forgettable today, which makes it almost interesting -- so forgettable it's practically memorable." Not exactly words to remember when you decide whether to see the movie.
There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.