What Is the Movie "Coyote Ugly" About?

by Leah Waldron-Gross Google

Directed in 2000 by David McNally and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer ("Pirates of the Caribbean," "Pearl Harbor"), "Coyote Ugly" is a story about Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo), a young, aspiring songwriter who gets her first New York City job at the rowdy, bartop-dancing Cowboy Ugly bar. The role landed Perabo nominations for an MTV Music Award and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Breakthrough Female Performance and Favorite Female Newcomer, respectively.


In an attempt to launch her songwriting career, Violet Sanford leaves her father, Bill (John Goodman) and her pizza waitress job for New York City, where she hopes to hit it big. However, no one in New York City wants to hear her demo, and in an embarrassing attempt at recognition, Violet shows her tape to an Australian man named Kevin (Adam Garcia), who she is told is the club's owner as a joke. Convinced he is making fun of her, she storms away to his dismay.

The New Job

At an after-hours diner, the downtrodden and broke Violet overhears some women talking about their $100 plus tips at a nearby bar, which prompts her to apply for a "Coyote Ugly" position. Due to her schoolteacher-like appearance, Violet gets the job at "Coyote Ugly," but she is unaware of the performance requirement, which includes bartop dancing, singing and performing for the rowdy male crowd. Shy at first, she quickly warms up and becomes a star. She reunites with Kevin, who has fallen for her.

The Big Break

Newly confident because of her new job, Violet decides to take a chance at an open-mike night at the Bowery Ballroom. All of her new "Coyote Ugly" coworkers give her encouragement and come to the show to support her singing. At the show, she is discovered by a record producer, who signs her up for a record label, making her dreams come true.

Song Performances

The song performances in "Coyote Ugly" played an important role in the film's success. Piper Perabo won a MTV Movie Award (Best Music Moment) for her cover of the Blondie song "One Way Or Another," while the song "Can't Fight the Moonlight," written by Diane Warren and performed in a cameo by LeAnn Rimes, won the ASCAP Film and Television Music Award for Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture and the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Song from a Movie.