The Ugly Truth Reviews
Delving into the language and interpretation barrier between men and women is a hot topic constantly explored but to no avail. Luckily, unlike the myriad of self help books focused on this very topic this movie offers no answers, just absolutely hilarious situations.
Control-freak Abby (Katherine Heigl) is an uber-efficient award winning producer of a Sacramento morning show whose ratings are at an all time low. In love, her overbearing and clingy persona has left her a frigid lonely heart, unable to find romance as her checklist of perfect mate qualities and over prepared typed conversation topics for a first date, simply drives men away screaming.
Chauvinistic Mike (Gerard Butler) is a cable-talk-show host who offers "reality check" relationship advice to women on late night TV. Mike offers crass, blunt and downright insulting advice to female callers making him a sudden sensation that drives a rating bonanza.
In an attempt to prevent the axe of Abby's slumping show, Stuart her boss (Nick Searcy) secretly hire's the trash talking Mike to present his own outrageous live and uncensored daily segment.
Revolted by his very existence and determined to expose him as a sham, Abby enlists the shows two married but feuding co-anchors Georgia (Cheryl Hines) and Larry (John Michael Higgins) to put the outspoken Mike in his place.
However, proving his theories of men and women's interactions is easy when Mike instantly sees through the couple's fake happy façade. As simply stated by Mike, Larry has been emasculated and unable to "get it up" since Georgia leapfrogged over his career hence leaving him angry and her sexually frustrated. Mike's solution: lots of rough sex.
Angry by not only his advice but the fact that he was right, Abby is determined to get rid of him. Under the guise of burying the professional hatchet (but hopeful to poke gapping holes in his indisputable confidence) Abby, still somewhat curious about the merit of his methods strikes a deal.
Smitten after a chance meeting with the "perfect guy" Dr. Colin (Eric Winter) her new neighbor the night before, Abby must use Mike's neanderthal methods of luring a man with long hair, tight jeans, playing naughty girl tricks and never passing judgment to make him fall in lover, however if it doesn't work Mike must quit.
Following his knuckle-dragging advice to the letter, Abby performs in a series of hilarious moments and situations. Sexualizing her wardrobe, playing kinky jokes with her food and putting her vibrating underwear on the line works like a charm, and Abby lands her man (and performs a delightful ditzy dance).
However, will misogynistic Mike's bravado and antics falter once he proves his relationship theories? And will he in turn be forced to face "The Ugly Truth" once Abby is happy?
Hollywood's mediocre movie execs have been desperately on the hunt for a replacement rom-com leading lady since the late 80's, hoping to find strong enough to fill the aging shoes of the dazzling smile and star quality of Julia Roberts (and the 90's Jennifer Aniston simply couldn't cut it). But have they found one in Katherine Heigl?
Trading a thigh-high plastic boot clad hooker, for a crisply-brittle and efficient television producer who's sexy naïveté leaves her donning a pair vibrating underwear during a business dinner yielding a five-minute orgasm (reminiscent of Meg Ryan's When Harry Meet Sally restaurant fake orgasm scene) is a good start.
Opposing Heigl is the mildly groomed but still gruff Gerard Butler. Squeezed between the blow-job jokes writers contrived to make Mike secretly cuddly with a soulful side introducing him as a role model to his 14 year old nephew. Butler conveys the romantic disappointment expected of this style of character nicely and injects extra bite and banter the lacking script.
The Verdict: In a nutshell; the mechanical rom-com formula of opposites attract awkwardly seesaws blandly between running gags of raunch and romance utilizing clichés and charisma through various workplace complications leading to self realizations and personal growth.
But as my work colleagues eloquently put "that is a far too intellectual look at an asinine rom-com just say it is funny first date film!" and I have to agree.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 31/07/2009