Ben Selleck's car dealership, in Temecula, California, is failing and he is forced to hire a mercenary, Don Ready. They have 211 cars to sell over the 4th of July weekend. Don's team of Babs, Jibby, and Brent promise Ben that they will make the dealership a profit after the weekend.
On the first day the crowds gather outside for hot dogs and other gimmicks. Don notices that the naturally talented salesman, Blake, could be his son (he was in the town before and had a brief fling while there). The sales team sell the cars by any means necessary and finish the day selling 71 cars. Before they can leave the lot Stu and his son Paxton from the opposing dealership offer to purchase the lot. Since Paxton is marrying Ben's daughter, Ivy, he is trying to put his future father-in-law out of business. Paxton only wants practice space for his "man-band", Big Ups, and eventually wants to take them worldwide. Ben is about to finalize a deal with Stu but Don promises to sell every car on the lot.
The second day starts off poorly with a dishonest commercial that Ben is dying of testicular cancer. When it is time for Eric Bice, Bo Bice's brother to take the stage he backs out at the last minute and Don takes the stage. The crowd riots when they find out Don is an atrocious singer. Taking advantage of all the cameras on the lot from the riot, the team starts a sale for 20% off to the police.
Don is taking stock in his life when Ivy questions him about one of his jobs in Albuquerque. Don tells her that he killed his best friend and team DJ, McDermott (played in a flashback by Will Ferrell), by giving him a bag with sex toys instead of a parachute. Don was more focused on having sex with his customer than selling cars. He then reveals to Ivy that he is falling for her and it is all happening again. That night Ivy comes to Don's hotel room and they have sex.
Ivy reveals that it was a one-night stand and is not breaking up with Paxton. Don is furious and storms out yelling that he only trusts cars after what he's been done by Ivy. The team searches but cannot find Don, they get pumped up to sell the 105 cars left on the lot without him. While wandering the desert Don sees the deceased McDermott with two angels. McDermott tells Don that everything is about the team, people you love, and that he should get off the road and settle down. In the time it takes Don to get back to the dealership the team sells every car on the lot.
Don parachutes onto the lot but Stu and Paxton inform him the "bandit car" (an expensive prop that was used in the Smokey and the Bandit films) is not sold and the dealership is theirs. Don convinces Paxton to buy the bandit car, which saves the lot, and Paxton leaves Ivy to tour with his band. Don announces that he is going to get off the road so he can care for his friends and family more. Don marries Ivy and adopts Blake (despite the fact that Blake knows he is not, in fact, Don's son) but they get divorced two years later.Jeremy Piven as Don "The Goods" Ready aka Big Boy Donnie
Ving Rhames as Jibby Newsome
James Brolin as Ben Selleck
David Koechner as Brent Gage
Kathryn Hahn as Babs Merrick
Ed Helms as Paxton Harding
Jordana Spiro as Ivy Selleck
Tony Hale as Wade Zooha
Ken Jeong as Teddy Dang
Rob Riggle as Peter Selleck
Alan Thicke as Stu Harding
Charles Napier as Dick Lewiston
Jonathan Sadowski as Blake
Noureen DeWulf as Heather
Wendie Malick as Tammy Selleck
Craig Robinson as D.J. Request
Bryan Callen as Jason Big Ups!
Joey Kern as Ricky Big Ups!
Kristen Schaal as Stewardess Stacey
Christopher Gartin as Selleck Customer - Husband
Jessica St. Clair as Selleck Customer - Wife
Matt Walsh as Captain Ortiz
Ian Roberts as Selleck Customer - Gary
Morgan Murphy as Karaoke Bartender
Gwen Stewart as McDermott Angel
T. J. Miller as Cessna Jim
Molly Erdman as Selleck Customer of Zooha
Paul Lieberstein as Selleck's Last Customer
Will Ferrell as Craig McDermott (uncredited)
Gina Gershon (uncredited)
Bradley Steven Perry as Young Don Ready (uncredited)
Kulap Vilaysack as Blowout Customer #2 (uncredited)
Originally titled, The Goods: The Don Ready Story. Adam McKay acknowledges similarities between this film and the Robert Zemeckis directed, Steven Spielberg produced film Used Cars, which he thinks the "regular people have forgotten about", and he compares this film to a funny Glengarry Glen Ross in tone.
The film was theatrically released on August 14, 2009 in the United States by Paramount Vantage.
The film was released on DVD as a rental only with no special features November 17 and for sale December 15.
The Goods: Live Free, Sell Hard received mostly negative reviews from critics. On the film review website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 27%, based on 101 reviews, rating with an average score of 4.1/10. The site's consensus reads, "Despite the talent in front of and behind the camera, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard largely misfires, proving a squandered opportunity for all involved." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". On a more positive note, notable film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four, saying "the screenplay moves at a breakneck pace. If a gag doesn’t work, another one is on its heels".
On August 17, the Japanese-American Citizens League demanded an apology due to a scene depicting the mob beating of an Asian American man, as well as the usage of the racial slur "Jap" in the movie.
The film opened at #6 in 1,838 theaters making $5,642,137 behind District 9, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Time Traveler's Wife, Julie & Julia, and G-Force. The Goods stayed in the theater for seven weeks only staying in the top 10 for its first two weeks. The film has grossed $15,122,676 domestically and $19,895 abroad for a total of $15,142,571 so far. This has placed it at number 97 for all films released in 2009.