Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler star in the critically panned The Ugly Truth, a romantic comedy about a prim-and-proper local television producer who is forced to work with a shock jock personality who tells "the ugly truth" to women, that is that all men, no matter how sophisticated or intelligent they may be, are attracted to boobs, ass and other anti-feminist things. Heigl, who of course is single and lonely in the movie, falls for her attractive doctor neighbor (Eric Winter), and to win him over she agrees to follow her coworker's advice. Naturally, against all odds, the two end up falling for one another.
I have to admit: when I first saw the previews for The Ugly Truth, I thought it looked pretty funny. After all, Butler gets some deliciously disgusting lines, Heigl looks as hot as ever and the typical romantic comedy elements fall into place as they always do. You know exactly what you're going to get, but at least it will be funny.
And funny it is, at times. Butler does get to play a complete ass, and Heigl looks as steaming as she ever has. Unfortunately, once the gimmick dries up - which is pretty early on - the movie falls apart at its seams as it adheres to one or two too many standard Hollywood clichés.
The problem lies primarily in Heigl's ridiculous character, which is so unbelievably unrealistic it's hard to take. She has a large, perfect house, a cat and looks stunning, and yet doesn't know how to interact with men or go on a blind date. When she pulls out a background check on a poor guy on their first date, you know that the screenwriters have terribly misfired, and it just goes downhill from there.
Butler is neither memorable nor terrible, which is pretty much par for the course for him. He's a good choice for the role he plays, but the chemistry between he and Heigl seems incredibly forced at times.
More troubling is that the screenplay struggles from some truly ugly dialogue and scenes, where things just go overboard. The movie is written by three women, but it appears they tried to write a movie for women from a man's point of view. The result: a lot of clichés that just don't fit with reality.
The Ugly Truth had promise, but it's just ugly.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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