This is one of those movies where you can almost predict the whole script from five minutes after the opening credits end. It’s further proof that the indie world can churn out crap just like the studios.
A big-city talk radio host stops for gas in a small town on his way to L.A. for a possible new gig with, perhaps, syndication. While in the local diner, the local love advice radio show, Heart Smart, is on the air. He calls in criticizing the attractive host’s advice. Rivalry develops between the two (they’re destined to fall in love of course) until eventually an on-air contest is held. Take Coyote County’s biggest loser and help him get a date with the girl of his dreams. If the girl has a memorable good time on the date, then the loser wins a new car.
What’s frustrating is the script says sincere things about falling in love and what components make for a lasting relationship. There’s a genuine dialogue on the page that never works because the acting is so bad. I’m talking third-rate dinner theatre bad. With the exception of Wayne Grace’s supporting performance, which is competent, the acting has the stilted monotone distance of a crummy high school freshman fall theatre play. If the acting was even half-decent the movie might be okay.
As a comedy, it’s a failure. I laughed once near the beginning. Every joke falls flat or is predictable. Naturally, vacuum delivery doesn’t help.
“Coyote County Loser” is also an example of a fairly interesting mini-trend in the indie world: deliberately PG-rated comedies. It’s like a counter-rebellion to all Hollywood comedies with required crass, vulgar and gross jokes. For the most part, I love soaking in crass and vulgar. But there’s something refreshing about this frame of mind. It’s almost a more forceful “screw you” than flipping-the-bird could be. Unfortunately, this movie is so poorly executed that it gives a possibly viable sub-genre a bad name.