'The Ugly Truth' isn't pretty at all
Category: The Ugly Truth Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: July 24, 2009 | Publication: The Washington Examiner | Author: SALLY KLINE
Not even the lead characters of Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler can save this romantic comedy
2 out of 5 Stars
"The Ugly Truth" wastes two pretty actors.
Why bother casting tall, dark and roguish Gerard Butler with luscious blonde Katherine Heigl in your formulaic, overstated R-rated romantic comedy if you aren't even going to show us the goods? This cliché-ridden battle-of-the-sexes earns its "R" for cursing and a few very dirty double entendres, not for the sweaty grappling or even partial nudity of its comely leads. And that is a shame.
Neither of these comely stars is known for the depths of his or her dramatic thespian capabilities. They have earned their places on the marquee for one reason: charisma.
Heigl usually plays the empowered spitfire who girls want to look like and guys want to tame. Butler is at his best when he grunts and flexes his machismo, preferable with a weapon in hand and few words. "Ugly" casts them according to their customary personas. But what a waste of a potentially explosive pairing that it's all about verbal action and exaggerated sight gags here. When they finally get around to a kiss -- a genuinely hot one, all too late in today's unsurprising proceedings -- we get a brief taste of where a movie rendezvous between these two should have gone.
Instead, here's another chick flick fantasy about reforming the Bad Boy type from the director of "Legally Blonde" and "Monster-in-Law" (Robert Luketic) and three female screenwriters (Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith). It deals in stereotypes and gimmicky humor without novelty or kick.
Due to the kind of coincidence that only happens at the multiplex, TV morning show producer Abby Richter (Heigl) ends up having to work with her previously established archenemy, the unrepentant Neanderthal commentator Mike Chadway (Bultler). He spouts misogynistic relationship advice on air. He then convinces Abby to use his shallow guidance to land an ideal dreamboat, the hardbody doctor-next-door Colin (yummy Eric Winter, providing the comedy's only eye candy shots).
Of course, as Mike instructs her about how men only care about appearance and sex, an attraction of opposites develops between them. He turns out to be more sensitive than she thought; see, he helps raise his nephew. And she turns out to be less of a prude than he thought; see, she has a public moment with a sex toy.
Why, they're perfect for each otherÉyeah, right. We know the "Truth": Yo, Abby, pick the nice doctor!