Review: Cougars, Inc. DVD

Cougars, Inc. DVD boxSTUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: K. Asher Levin | CAST: Kyle Gallner, Kathryn Morris, Jim Belushi, Denise Richards, Sarah Hyland
RELEASE DATE: 5/10/2011 | PRICE: DVD $26.98, Blu-ray $29.99
BONUSES: cast/crew commentary, featurette
SPECS: R | 82 min. | Comedy | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1; DTS Surround Sound | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Cougars, Inc. movie scene

Is Sarah Hyland coming between Denise Richards and Jim Belushi in Cougars, Inc.?

A smooth-talking prep school kid (Kyle Gallner, Jennifer’s Body) decides to pimp his buddies out to middle-age women via his male escort startup in the low-profile wish fulfillment movie Cougars, Inc.

Perhaps it means I’m getting older, but I was honestly surprised to see Denise Richards (Deep in the Valley), who played a high-schooler in 1997’s Starship Troopers, being referred to as a “cougar.” (Then again, she did turn 40 this year…)  More than anything else, that dates me.

This film, however, is suffering from a kind of temporal displacement of its own seeing as the cougar-theme fad is waning now — TV’s Cougar Town is already in its second season — and the baby-boom generation is in mid-transition from MILFs to GILFs.

The movie itself, which co-stars Kathryn Morris (TV’s Cold Case) and James Belushi (The Ghost Writer), is burdened by writer/director K. Asher Levin’s approach. Cougars, Inc.’s overtly indie feel doesn’t really jibe with it’s unimaginative basic plot structure. A more traditionally crude comedic style would have been more suitable.

Sure, this is a coming-of-age movie (Gallner embarks on a non-cougar romance with Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland), but an unfortunate intersection of chilly cynicism and shortsighted irony robs it of any emotional heft it might otherwise have held. And not enough was done to prevent the sheer unbelievability of it from upending my suspension of disbelief.

That said, Cougars, Inc. has a kind of unique sad sense of capitalist optimism to it, and the love scene montages are appreciably torrid and comic at the same time.

Special features on the DVD include a brief “Cougars 101” featurette, which offers a collection of young men giving tips on how to treat the titular felines.


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About Alex

Alex Kikuchi loves movies of every size and variety and has fancied himself a film critic ever since Mystery Science Theater made it look so easy when he was a kid in the 1990s.