Film review: The Ugly Truth (2009), directed by Robert Luketic
TV producer Abby (Katherine Heigl) is not lucky in love. Coming home from a bad date, she turns on the telly and sees a late night talk show called The Ugly Truth, hosted by man’s man Mike (Gerard Butler). She is so incensed by Mike’s negative attitude toward relationships that she phones up and has an argument with her.
Next day at work, she finds out her show is about to be cancelled because of bad ratings, but the TV station boss (Nick Searcy) has a trump card up his sleeve – they’re hiring a guy to do a new segment on her show! This, of course, turns out to be Mike.
The two don’t get on in the slightest. Abby’s too uptight according to Mike and Mike’s to un-uptight according to Abby. In the end, she reluctantly ends up asking for his advice when it comes to wooing the handsome new neighbour, Dr Colin (Eric Winter).
But of course, relationshippy things happen. Could it be that the cynical Mike who doesn’t believe in love might be falling in love? Could it be that the woman who hated his guts is starting to come around to the fact that maybe he has some redeeming qualities after all, underneath all that machismo?
Also starring Bree Turner as Joy, Abby’s assistant and best friend, Cheryl Hines and John Michael Higgins as the morning show anchors, Bonnie Somerville as Mike’s sister, and with a special appearance by Craig Ferguson as himself.
I’m not too sure about this film. It’s enjoyable from a romantic comedy perspective, but it’s so extremely stereotypical. You’ve got Angry Woman who wants romance and to be loved but is totally inept at getting either, and Macho Man who has obviously had such a bad experience with love that he’s now completely against it. If anything, Angry Woman’s constant swaying between self-sufficient go-getter and insecure wreck ends up being annoying. Macho Man is so over-the-top that it would be funny in itself, if it wasn’t for the fact that a number of men actually do have those disturbing views of love and womanhood.
It has a happy ending, though, but aside from that, sure, it’s cute at times, and funny too. But the overall feeling is just one of not knowing whether this is the sort of film I would want to endorse or not. They’re trying to play with gender stereotypes and their perceptions of each other to perhaps make some sort of point, but it ends up being … for lack of a better way of putting it, offensive to both sexes. And that wasn’t really the point, was it?
But at least there’s eyecandy.
3 out of 5 hot air balloons.