Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Way back in 1980 a little movie came out directed by little known director Robert Zemeckis and starring former child star Kurt Russell called ĎUsed Carsí, which has kind of become a cult comedy classic. To my memory I donít how many car selling movies have come after that one, but since none are jumping in my head at the present time lets go out on a limb here and say that ĎUsed Carsí probably closed the door on the whole car selling movie premise. Undaunted by the large shadow casts by ĎUsed Carsí we have a movie with an eerily similar premise, crafted by a pair of first time directors and also starring a former child star all grown up in this flick ĎCar Babesí. What, pray tell, are we to make of this movie?

Young Ford Davis (Ben Savage) has just graduated from college is out and about looking for a job and finding the sledding to be rather difficult. All of Fordís employment problems could quickly be solved if heíd simply work for his father, used car schlepper Big Len Davis (Blake Clark) but Ford seems to equate selling used cars to working for Al-Keida so he opts out, until fate takes him to where we all knew he had to be in the first place.

Of course with this being a used car lot in movie, it has to be filled with quirky and theoretically funny people who do a lot of silly theoretically funny stuff, at least in theory, as these zany kooks show Ford the ropes in the used car game. Thereís trouble at the lot though for Big Len who is seriously falling on hard times in this tough economy. Now we know somehow that Gary (John Gries), the scurrilous Sales Manager is in some way behind these hard times, mainly because the funny super cool Black character Julius (Donnell Rawlings) has informed anybody who will listen that he personally is selling more cars than ever yet somehow is making less money, but Big Len, for whatever reason, wonít listen to Julius. Can you say Racism? Complicating matters is the fact that the cat that owns the big RV dealership down the street, Ron

Hamper (Kevan Blackton Ė who might be blessed with the smoothest speaking voice this side of Barry White) is also working behind the scenes against Big Len to take his property so that he can expand his growing RV empire. Thereís also a pair of pretty girls floating around in Fordís ex-girlfriend Judy (Stephanie Keeney) and his present love interest Alicia (Carolina Garcia) who serve almost no discernible purpose other than to look cute until the plot-o-meter requires them to do something or another. Anyways, our crew of theoretically funny car salesmen will discover that they have thirty days to sell a mile of cars or the bank will take the lot and give it to the evil RV guy. Will they make it? Do you have to ask?

ĎCar Babesí is probably just a touch misleading. For instance if you were perusing the rental rack at your local DVD establishment, or scanning your favorite online retailer and stumbled across this title you might think, judging from the cover art and the description, that this is one of those sexy, wacky, tasteless, krazy comedies. It isnít. Itís actually about as far from that you could possibly imagine. ĎCar Babesí is so relatively tame that if the filmmakers chose to edit out the three or four curse words that are uttered in the movie, it could easily be the second bill on a double feature following one of those ĎCheetah Girlsí flicks on Nickelodeon. But you see, thatís not really the problem with ĎCar Babesí as Iíve seen more than my share of tasteless comedies that suck. The main problem with ĎCar Babesí is that itís really not all that funny, tasteless - tasteful or otherwise. Itís not painfully unfunny either when taken on the whole as it does have its amusing moments sprinkled in here and there, but for a movie billing itself as a comedy, it does fall short of that lofty mark.

But considering what the actors were given to work with they didnít do such a bad job however, led by Ben Savage who manages to pull off the poor schlub everyman hero without nary and hitch, and Dave Chappelle alum Donnell Rawlings showing that he can perform quite well beyond ninety second skits.

ĎCar Babesí isnít a terrible movie in that it did have characters that were likable, it didnít run to long, and it did have its amusing moments. It also wasnít a movie that's all that good either, mainly because it wasnít as funny as I was hoping it would be, and Iím pretty easy to make laugh, but was painfully predictable as a lot of these movies tend to be. If you havenít had the opportunity to see ĎUsed Carsí, then perhaps ĎCar Babesí would be a good primer. Then go ahead and step up to that damn near thirty year old movie and then see why itís probably not the best idea to attempt to make another used car selling flick.

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