Movie Review: The Ugly Truth
Everything you need to know is in the title
Katherine Heigl starred in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up a few years ago, and essentially got her big break into movies with that role. Ever the gracious starlet, she thanked Mr. Apatow by pronouncing loudly and often that the movie was sexist. Mind you, it didn’t seem to bother her until well after she had cashed her paycheck. Many people came to her defense, praising her personal convictions. I suspect those same people will be coming after her with pitchforks after seeing her latest romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth. In a puzzling move, she has opted to star in a film that is not only sexist, but insulting to its core demographic, women. There are plenty of conventional stereotypes and cliches, but nary an original thought in the whole movie.
Heigl stars as Abby, a successful television producer who despite being smart, beautiful, and buxom, has of course never had a personal life. We all know that in movie land, personal and professional success are mutually exclusive entities. (See also Someone like you, The Wedding Planner,Kate and Leopold, One Fine Day, etc.) She is uptight, you can tell because she has the prerequisite tight bun or ponytail at the beginning scenes of the movie, and she wears functional work attire.
Mike (Gerard Butler) is a knuckle dragging misogynistic caveman who pitches his advice show for women (on how to snag a man) on a local cable access channel. He claims he just speaks the truth, one such gem being that all women need to do is spend more time on the StairMaster, because the outside package is all that really matters to men (charming). Of course Abby’s local station hires him to boost ratings, and she becomes reluctant boss to the despicable man (betcha didn’t see that one coming!)
Despite finding him deplorable, she immediately enlists his help at helping her land a date or two with a cute physician neighbor. Professional and uptight Abby seems to lose all her faculties at the mere thought of going out with Dr. Hunky, and allows Mike to take her shopping for bras and other things that men find delightful not even slugging him when he cops a feel or grabs her ass during their shopping excursion. Soon the pony-tail comes down, the extensions go in, the Wonderbra performs its task, and we have blow-up sex doll Barbie. Flipping the middle finger at the women in the audience, it is reinforced that this is exactly what men want . Dr. Hunky falls for Abby over a series of Cyrano de Bergerac inspired covert dates where Mike instructs Abby on what to say, and convinces her that eating a hot dog like you are giving a blow job is the key to a guy’s heart. Classy stuff.
Over the course of the movie these two realize they are made for each other (I couldn’t agree more, she’s a bitch, he’s a dick= perfect pair). Since neither character is likable to any degree, I did find their hook-up satisfying, because they can annoy the crap out of each other for all of eternity.
I did find one scene remotely amusing (pun very much intended), but having just seen The Hangover and Bruno it didn’t shock me near as much as I’m sure the film makers intended. The movie tried to throw some raunchy scenes into a typical chick-flick, but I don’t think it succeeded.
Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and John Michael Higgins (Best in Show, Arrested Development) as a bickering husband and wife anchor team add some comic relief.
It’s a pity that Heigl and Butler allowed themselves to be soiled by this craptacular movie. Both have shown promise as upcoming major-players of the film world. I suggest they both dust themselves off and choose something more intelligent next time.
Frothygirlz rating 3/10