The MovieSet Review of ‘The Ugly Truth’
Category: The Ugly Truth Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: July 22, 2009 | Publication: movieset.com | Author: Jeff Otto
What I’d Seen - Unlike most romantic comedy trailers, The Ugly Truth appeared as though it might have a few jokes aimed at the male demographic. Butler’s character, who appeared to be a rough variation on Tom Cruise’s Frank T.J. Mackey motivational speaker from Magnolia, appeared sure to illicit some inappropriate laughs with this tell-it-like-it-is persona.
What I’d Heard - After 27 Dresses, Heigl said she was happy to step back into R-rated territory and speak like the adults really do. Outside of Apatow and Vince Vaughn comedies, it’s rare to see a romantic comedy that dares to step into R territory.
What I Wanted - I’m not going to pretend I’m the audience for romantic comedies, but I always keep an open mind and once in a while I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s an overdone genre full of cliches, so I’m always game to see someone approach the rom-com with a fresh perspective.
What Turned Me On - After ten-plus minutes of paint-by-numbers rom-com character introduction of Abby and her wacky news team, the first appearance of Butler’s Chadway character yields promising signs that The Ugly Truth might not be a lost cause. Sure, you know that Abby and Mike will somehow wind up together going in, but if the story can make you buy it without feeling like the characters are too strained, it could still be a fun journey. Chadway’s rude, crude approach at the start is a lot of fun and Heigl plays the straight “man” well.
What Turned Me Off - Like most rom-coms, The Ugly Truth has a clever concept that never gets out of the gate. The script is weak and overly predictable, neglecting to develop story capable of seeing the concept through to the end. As usual, characters end up in an escalating series of preposterous events and zany hijinks that, while being occasionally amusing, aren’t much different from watching your average humdrum situational TV comedy.
I Left Thinking - Why is the romantic comedy genre the only genre that can never shock? Also, why in the world was this rated R? They could have used the F-word once in a PG-13. The only difference here is that they get to use it a few extra times; a tradeoff hardly worth the loss of audience.
I Left Saying - Gerard Butler is a man’s man, but if he keeps doing these corny rom-coms, he’s going to lost his machismo appeal altogether. Heigl proved she can do better in Knocked Up. Now she needs to find another strong director to challenge her. Heigl is likable and Butler is the kind of no b.s. guy that men like too. Together, they have the kind of chemistry that any two attractive people would have together, albeit in no exceptional way.
Expiry Date - Women might have better luck than usual dragging their men to this one, which should lead to a strong opening weekend against lackluster competition. If there’s any hope for our future, next weekend’s superior Funny People will blow it out of the water.