July 24, 2009
Review - " The Ugly Truth " - (in Theaters) By Roland Hansen
For comments or to submit a movie review for possible inclusion on Delta Films site
please send an email to Critics@deltafilms.net
The Ugly Truth
Directed by: Robert Luketic
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner, Eric Winter,
Cheryl Hines, John Michael Higgins
"The Ugly Truth" puts #13 on the Delta99, Katherine Heigl, in another
predictable chick flick. Come on now, does anybody NOT know that
Heigl and Butler will end up together in this opposite attracts rom-com?
Before we even buy our ticket - Hell before we even think about
getting in the car and driving to the theater - we know that they'll hate
each other when they first meet but end up in love by the end of two
To some extent we pay good money to not be surprised in a romantic
comedy. Writers can come up with new ways to meet cute all they like,
but the goods of the romantic comedy remain the same - the
bickering, the furtive glances, the moment of revelation, the final
clinch. And "The Ugly Truth" works in every single one of those
staples. Even though she burned some bridges when she complained
about playing an uptight control freak in Knocked Up, Katherine Heigl
is right back at it as Abby, a TV morning show producer so obsessive
that she brings a list of conversation topics on a date - and has a
checklist of ten critical items for a potential mate. And like most women
you can bet good looking and well off are right at the top.
The movie has embarrassingly limited ideas about both the sexes and
sex. Like Sandra Bullock’s career woman in “The Proposal,’’ Abby
appears to have never heard of intercourse, much less experienced it.
Abby (Heigl) is the producer of a Sacramento morning TV show an
uptight and beautiful control freak who can't land a man to save her
life, while Gerard Butler’s Mike is the Neanderthal advice dispenser with no romantic illusions. He thinks healthy relationships
are a myth, but he knows how to get what he wants. What women want matters nothing to this guy. What he wants is a skinny
bod, perky breasts and two hot babes in a vat of Jell-O. Mike mocks Abby. Abby loathes Mike. But when some convoluted
slapstick causes Abby to drop from a tree beside the naked loin of a hunky neighbor (Eric Winter), Mike offers to coach her
through the dating process until the hunk is snared. If his advice works, she has to lay off hating on Mike. If it doesn't, he'll
quit the show. Soon the game is on, and Mike floods her with advice. Butler barks his directives out gamely, in a somewhat
tortured faux-American accent, and Heigl responds with fine-tuned klutziness and outrage.
Unlike most romantic comedies, "The Ugly Truth" appears to have quite a few jokes aimed at the male demographic. Butler’s
character, who comes across as a rough variation on Tom Cruise’s Frank T.J. Mackey motivational speaker from Magnolia, is
sure to illicit some inappropriate laughs with this tell-it-like-it-is persona. The movie doesn't waste much time on subtlety,
mining its biggest laughs - and there are several - from rude, crude verbal combat and a pair of vibrating panties.
After 27 Dresses, Heigl said she was happy to step back into R-rated territory and speak like the adults really do. Outside of
Apatow and Vince Vaughn comedies, it’s rare to see a romantic comedy that dares to step into R territory.
After ten-plus minutes of paint-by-numbers rom-com character introduction of Abby and her wacky news team, the first
appearance of Butler’s Chadway character yields promising signs that The Ugly Truth might not be a lost cause. Sure, you
know that Abby and Mike will somehow wind up together going in, but if the story can make you buy it without feeling like the
characters are too strained, it could still be a fun journey. Chadway’s rude, crude approach at the start is a lot of fun and
Heigl plays the straight “man” well.
Of course, these two must fall in love around the 90-minute mark, but first Abby must fruitlessly woo her doctor neighbor as
Mike coaches her on dating skills like some kind of Sparta version of Cyrano de Bergerac. The courtship turns into an
increasingly implausible series of comic set pieces - if you think spilling soda on the guy at a baseball game is funny, wait
'til she suffers through dinner wearing vibrating panties! And, of course, Mike falls for Abby for some reason during all
this, leading to a dance floor clinch and an awkward elevator makeout.
Of course, in the real world, a pig like Mike would never make it on morning television, he's too much to stomach over a bowl
of Cheerios. Also It's hard to imagine why an attractive successful 21st century woman could ever fall for such a misogynistic
Neanderthal - although Mike's character does get visibly more complex and human as the plot unfolds - eventually this
knuckle dragger clubs Izzy Stevens over the head and drags her by the hair back to his cave.
"The Ugly Truth" starts off
uproariously funny through
the first two thirds of the film
but unfortunately settles into
the stereotypical comfortable
Rom-Com mold for the final
act. Despite it's predictable
ending "Ugly Truth" is still a
funny and enjoyable trip. It's
a romantic chick-flik that your
husband or boyfriend can
Even with an R rating you will
have to walk out in the end.
Pity, Heigl has a hell of a
figure. I bet she looks yummy