The Ugly Truth


Directed by: Robert Luketic
Written by:Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner, Eric Winter, Cheryl Hines, John Michael Higgins
Released: August 6, 2009
Grade: C+

With Katherine Heigl from 27 Dresses and Gerard Butler from 300, The Ugly Truth is a little spicier than your average romantic comedy.  There are numerous sexual references and innuendos – which you might not expect if you’ve seen the fluffy trailer.  The film has earned an MA rating here in Australia which comes as no surprise.

I had a few laughs along the way but when you break it down, this is another superficial comedy filled with superficial characters.  Let me explain where I’m coming from…

Abby (Heigl) is a television producer whose morning program is struggling in the ratings.  Looking for something to boost their audience, Abby’s boss brings in Mike (Butler) and a segment called The Ugly Truth.  On his show, Mike talks about relationships from a “macho guy” perspective.  It’s controversial, it’s politically incorrect but lo and behold, it becomes a smash hit.

So what kind of advice is Mike giving out?  He tells women that if they’re struggling to get a date that they need to start exercising and making more of an effort about their appearance.  This doesn’t sit well with Abby and the pair quickly clash.  She doesn’t like her program being tarnished by Mike and his twisted views.  She wants to take him down.

The opportunity presents itself when Abby meets Colin (Winter), a hot guy living next door.  She wants to make a good first impression and so asks Mike for advice.  He pretty much tells her to do the exact opposite of what she’d usually do – in other words, to NOT be herself.  If it works, Abby has to accept Mike as a genius and throw her support behind him and his segment.  If it doesn’t work, Mike agrees to quit.

I think how it all pans out is rather obvious but won’t spoil it for those unfamiliar with romantic comedy formulas.  I had major concerns with how these characters seemed to go through these mind-blowing transformations.  If Mike’s show was so popular and people agreed with his views, why did he mellow in the end?  What are men really like – the Mike at the start of the movie or the Mike at the end of the movie?

Ok, this isn’t reality but these two characters are fake and phoney.  I had trouble sitting through it.  I’m often critical of romantic flicks but to prove my worth – I saw two wonderful romantic dramas last week at the Brisbane International Film Festival.  An Education and 500 Days Of Summer were both awesome and will be released nationwide later in the year.  Chemistry is everything – something that the characters in this film didn’t have.