THE UGLY TRUTH is these women do exist!!

Category: The Ugly Truth Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: August 7, 2009 | Publication: | Author: Matt Holmes
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I’ve read an awful lot of critic bashing for The Ugly Truth, the second Katherine Heigl-led big screen romantic comedy, and most of the angst for it seems to have built up because of a succession of movies in the genre, including 27 Dresses, Bride Wars and most recently The Proposal that feature successful and immensely pretty but unlikeable and shrill women, who must learn to go through a psychological make-over, and basically become “easy”, lowering their standards so they can find a man and be happy.

The thing is, even though the critics claim that to be the case with The Ugly Truth, if you look closely at the movie, you’ll find it actually projects a completely the opposite image… but in any case, when a character like the one Heigl plays in this movie is so wound-up, maybe a change of attitude isn’t actually a bad thing.

Women like this have seen too many romantic comedies with characters played by Richard Gere and Tom Hanks that no sane person in the real world could ever live up to and every man they are with never works out for very long because usually they haven’t lived up to the Prince Charming that they’ve seen on the big screen during late night chick-flick emotional pick me up’s.

These women do exist. Romantic comedies are poison for woman, they seriously damage the likelihood of their own happiness.

The neurotic character Katherine Heigl plays in The Ugly Truth, is an A* attractive looking and successful at work singleton, who is shrill and tightly wound, wanting to control all aspects of the man she wants to be with. She has serious issues getting laid because men don’t confirm to her image of drinking red wine in restaurants (or if not TAP WATER and strictly not BOTTLED WATER because really it’s just the same) for not liking cats more than dogs, for not having a perfect torso etc. These are the women who keep a checklist in their heads and if your failing percentage score is too low, they just aren’t going to give you the time of day.

I once knew an attractive and seemingly “with it” girl whose policy when dating a guy was based solely on his musical tastes, the shallow kind of view of the world that makes High Fidelity such a funny, but rewardingly visceral film. So sure, it’s a demeaning stereotype but after all there’s a reason why it’s a stereotype.

Heigl’s early morning GMTV styled television show she produces has become stale, the two lead anchors (a wasted supporting role for John Michael Higgins and Cheryl Hines) are in an unhappy marriage and they no longer have chemistry together. The show is on the verge of cancellation.

As a plea of desperation, the execs bring in Mark Chadway (Gerard Butler) for a 5 minute daily slot, a local t.v. host whose late-night cable access show “The Ugly Truth” tells it straight that all a man is ever after with a woman is a nice pair of tits and a firm ass, it’s all about sex for the male species and once woman relax and accept it, they will be much happier in life. Butler plays the obnoxious, arrogant, sexually confident, misogynistic alpha male with full bravado and he soon becomes the centre piece of the show, so of course Heigl’s character hates him so very much that the only possible conclusion is that she falls for him.

Chadway’s guest spot on the morning show sends the ratings through the roof (though a 12 share for an early morning show is a little pushing the realms of believability) and Heigl begins to play along with him and make the show a little raunchier by egging him on with a scantly-clad jello bikini wrestling segment, and eventually she even lets Butler into her personal life, allowing him to coach and give her a make-over so she can land the dreamy, seemingly perfect doctor next door.

From there it’s a fairly predictable piece but the movie hits all the cliches with a solid execution (there’s the lingerie buying scene, the advice on how to push up breasts, the extended hair advice, the sexual innuendo hotdog eating scene) and Butler/Heigl’s chemistry is ever electric so it’s not particularly boring. The movie is unusually crude for a rom-com but then again things do sound funny with a “fuck” this and a “vagina” rant every now and again, so I’m not going to knock it down for that.

At the end of the day, The Ugly Truth is easy to watch, has a lot of laughs, contains two likeable and breezy leads in Heigl and is a fun battle of the sexes, When Harry Met Sally inspired comedy.

Now ok. It’s nowhere near to the quality of a picture that a Billy Crystal would have starred in, but as a lite version of his most loved film, and with a modern day Meg Ryan in Heigl, it’s more than passable. I laughed a lot anyway, and when I’m paying to see a comedy and it delivers on that factor then I go home happy.

I mean it even has a roundtable restaurant orgasm scene, though it was painful to see how such a potentially hilarious scene was ruined by a let down of acting (why didn’t Heigl go sweaty?), direction (where was the slow build up, but then I remember this movie was directed by Robert Luketic who couldn’t conjure up tension in a gambling movie last year with 21!) and just plain lack of rhythm.

But still, I don’t think this is as bad as they say. In fact it’s quite fun.