“Truth gets ugly.”

_ The Ugly Truth _

Title: The Ugly Truth

I had an epiphany on the way home from screening the new romantic comedy The Ugly Truth. It was like the movie curtains parted and a huge Dolby Digital voice boomed from a CGI balcony; Real life has more to do with the romantic comedy than we think. Films of this genre are so hit and miss yet it is hard sometimes to pinpoint why. It is the same with real relationships. Many times two people just don’t hit it off and both parties try and figure out what went wrong and why the good times were not enough to make up for the bad. There is no solid answer. Why does a film like The Proposal work magnificently and others with the same concept and template fail? The same reason some people are married 50 years and others can’t make it 500 days. It is just the ugly truth of it all.

Abby (Katherine Heigl) is a morning show TV producer trying to keep her show afloat in spite of its sinking ratings. She runs her show like her life. By being a control freak full of lists and rules. Her conservative, old school way of doing things is shaken when the station brings in Mike (Gerard Butler); a crude, chauvinistic, tell it like it is commentator who shares The Ugly Truth about men and women in relationships. They of course butt heads from day one. But when Abby finds she needs Mike’s help in order to hook the single surgeon hottie in her apartment building it seems Mike is more clued in than first thought. But will Mike and Abby fall for each other?? Could this be possible since they are soooo completely different?? It is Hollywood. All bets are off.

The problem I had with this film is the problem many face in their real relationships. I didn’t care for it yet I can’t really pinpoint why. I can speculate on a few personality flaws it had in direction and story line. I can bring up how manipulative and selfish the character arcs were. But then some might ask me why I seemed to be laughing a lot and having a good time. Was I faking it? Was I just being polite until it was over and I could get out of there? Not really. If anything I feel like this film has a lot going for it but just needs to find the right person. Someone who can appreciate the way Abby’s character seems to never find that right balance or how Mike is tolerable only because he is good looking. Am I wrong? Put Steve Buscemi in this film saying the same things to women that Gerard Butler says and it goes from giggly cute to harassingly offensive. Sorry Steve, just the ugly truth of it all.

I think the main issue I had with the film is that it lacked certain chemistry. I love Heigl and I think she brought believability to Abby regardless of how bad her character was written. Likewise I think Butler nailed his role. But together? Didn’t fly with me. The film has its cute moments and yes there are one or two very memorable, laugh out loud scenes. The times it did work it was beautiful, but the awkward moments unfortunately came too often. The Cyrano type acts of Mike trying to help Abby on her dates didn’t help.

The Ugly Truth is rated R for sexual content and language. This is an adult comedy and the sexual references and descriptions are numerous and candid. Again having Butler say them may make them more acceptable but still be careful of who you watch this with. Not sure this is a good first date movie or one to see with someone you are not yet truly comfortable with in the sexual realm. I give it 3 out of 5 panty remotes. It was fun while it lasted, but I am so ready to move on. And really, it’s not you; it’s me.

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com) (7/24/09)

(3 out of 5)

Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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