Movie Review - 'The Ugly Truth' (blog)

Category: The Ugly Truth Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: July 24, 2009 | Publication: | Author: Editor
Publication/Article Link:

Why would a movie that's so mediocre, and had very little chance to be much more than that from the word go, resort to calling itself The Ugly Truth? Does it get any easier to make puns than that? Why not just call it You've Seen All This Before, But Done Much Better and be done with it?

There's nothing here but what you expect. The characters are derivative, the actors are bored, and the only surprise about the script is that the writers were proud enough of their work to register it with the Writers Guild.
The dice being rolled here are essentially that audiences will flock to see Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler in a romantic comedy. Butler is not in his element here, and in my opinion, he seems uncomfortable in this film, playing a chauvinist who tries to teach hopelessly single Heigl the real story behind relationships and why men and women are the way they are, particularly during courtship.

It is not the most believable plot device to have Katherine Heigl unable to find a man, and this movie would probably work a lot better with less physically attractive lead actors, or at least one of them. The only reason the movie can get away with it to the slim degree it does is because both characters work in television, which is at least as bad about its looksism as the film industry.

In a battle of the sexes, Heigl and Butler would work well together; she's independent and sexy and he's ruggedly handsome and all that. But a battle of the sexes, by definition, can't work when one or both of them are operating at a disadvantage. That's why Heigl's string of bad luck with men doesn't help the characters. If they were both overachievers, the way the personas of the actors are conveyed publicly, this could have been a fairly entertaining movie.

There are similarities between this movie and 27 Dresses, Heigl's passable romantic comedy from 2008, but if I had to watch one of them over again, I'd choose that one because it felt more fun and relatable.

It has been a decent summer for the romantic comedy. The Proposal is fine, maybe a little better because of the chemistry between the leads and the supporting work of Betty White, and there's a movie out in most major cities now called (500) Days of Summer, which gives us real characters and real situations. People say they go to the movies for escapism, but that's not patently true. If we couldn't relate, we wouldn't laugh and cry the way we do with good movies.

As for the film in question, You have to have a pretty dim view of movies to genuinely enjoy The Ugly Truth, and you have to have a sadly immature view of love to think that any minute of this film is genuine.