'The Ugly Truth': Uptight gal meets neanderthal in a rom-com that feels false

Category: The Ugly Truth Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: July 24, 2009 | Publication: NY Daily News | Author: Elizabeth Weitzman
Publication/Article Link:http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/2009/07/24/2009-07-24_the_ugly_truth_uptight_gal_meets_neanderthal_in_a_romcom_that_feels_false.html

'The Ugly Truth,' starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, is a date-flick that doesn't even give us anyone to root for.

Ugly is, indeed, the word for any comedy that manages to insult both its cast and audience with nearly every scene.
Proudly coarse and painfully contrived, Robert Luketic’s desperate date-night flick doesn’t even give us anyone to root for.

There’s certainly no telling why Katherine Heigl would agree to dim her natural confidence to play a character as pathetically insecure as Sacramento TV producer Abby Richter.

Brittle and uptight, Abby is completely appalled when her boss hires boorish Mike (Gerard Butler) to boost the ratings of their morning news show.

You can’t fault her: A warrior in the battle of the sexes, Mike revels in his caveman status. After he has offended every woman within range (including a wasted Cheryl Hines) and brought Jell-O-wrestling twins into his first broadcast, Abby wants to fire him. But they make a deal: If he can help her snag a cute doctor named Colin (ultrabland Eric Winter), Mike gets to stay. The only catch is that she has to do exactly as he says.

As a result, Abby learns to flirt, manipulate, keep her opinions to herself and embrace the wonders of the pushup bra. Naturally, Colin responds, and — you’ll never guess! — Mike does, too.

It would help, at least a little, if there was a single spark of chemistry between the equally distracted stars. But how could there be? They’re too busy grappling with the sort of crass, aggressively adolescent dialogue that ought to render any screenwriter permanently unemployable.
Luketic is also to blame, given that every element, from the cinematography to the sets, feels as fake as the script.

There’s not even enough cheesy fun in these dreary proceedings to call "The Ugly Truth" a guilty pleasure — all the guilt, in fact, lies with the filmmakers, who’ve created a movie without a moment of truth to be found.