Welcome to Coyote Ugly, where the fierce, sexy bartenders call the shots and the studded leather pants flow like wine.
It's been 22 years since the romantic dramedy full of dancing, singing, high-heeled boots and bellybuttons hit theaters, making bar-top dancing and wielding a water gun like it's high noon in the desert look like the most fun you can possibly have at a job, so long as you've got your girls by your side and a plan that doesn't involve warding off drunken frat brothers forever.
Though it was largely filmed on sets in L.A., the bar in the movie is based on a real-life chain of saloons, starting with the flagship Coyote Ugly in New York City that was opened by NYU alum Liliana Lovell, who followed her heart into bartending rather than take a job on Wall Street. Like 2019's Hustlers (minus the criminal enterprise), Coyote Ugly was inspired by a 1997 article in GQ written by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) about her experience as a bartender at the famously hands-on drinking establishment.
The "Do we serve water in this bar?!" scene ("Hell no, H2O!") was ripped from reality and aspiring staffers really were given "auditions" that more often would amount to one-and-done nights scrambling behind the bar for ladies who couldn't properly sass the thirsty clientele.
At first (and second...and probably third, too) glance, the 2000 film looks like your basic flesh fest—and it's that, too.
Reminiscent of another movie that came out in 2000, Charlie's Angels, which showed a lot of skin yet was ultimately about the bond between butt-kicking secret agents, at its own rewatchable core Coyote Ugly is about sisterhood, tough women looking out for each other and building a family where you find one as you're growing up and figuring out who you are.
And in case you forgot, or were distracted by the whiskey spraying everywhere, this movie is packed with famous faces. Check them out, then and now, no beer goggles necessary:
Now, if the original cast is up for a sequel, Banks is the one to make it happen.
"When Tyra and I were DMing, I was like, 'We have to really think about it,' because obviously we're all 20 years older and we have to rethink the story," Perabo told Variety. "Like, 'Who owns the bar? What are we all doing? Do we all still know each other? And what's it about?'"
"Because that movie in 2000," she continued, "that was a really different moment, that was the sort of stiletto-feminism and women's rights and we're maybe in the third wave of feminism now and things have evolved and I would want the movie to reflect that evolution."
This story was first published on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 1:01 p.m. PT.