Smile Politely

The ugliness of The Ugly Truth

Women are smart. Men are dumb. And since women cannot ever really “have it all” (i.e. a successful career and a loving relationship), the only option they have is to “slut” themselves up in order to land a man. Men will be so bedazzled by the generous display of womanly assets that they will fall susceptible to all of the carefully orchestrated mind games a woman has employed in order to make the seduction scene complete. Thus, this smoke and mirrors tango will form the basis of the relationship-but only until the woman is sure that she indeed “has” the man. Then and only then can she take a sigh of relief and feel free to “be herself” as the man in her life shakes his head in complete confusion and bewilderment.

Hopefully all elements of the above scenario are offensive to the reader. However, it is these very principles that guide the arc of the alleged romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth alleged in the fact that it is devoid of any semblance of romance and the only laughs that might be had could come from a stoned fourteen year old boy such is the level of crudity that it aspires to and readily achieves.

Katherine Heigl plays Abby, a single control freak television producer whose grip is rapidly loosening as her morning news show’s ratings plummet and her love life also dives markedly south. Hmm … perhaps it is the police-level interrogation that she subjects her dates to, complete with the results of the background check she has ordered. Alas, Abby does not see it this way. She is instead content to go home, complain to her cat (stereotype anyone?) and pine for the fantasy of her dream man.

Enter Mike (Gerard Butler) whose cable access show “The Ugly Truth” has been a lightning rod for controversy due to his “enlightened” views on mean and women. Some of his cringe-worthy gems include:

“When men ask how you are doing they don’t really want to know..all they are thinking is how they can get their dick in your ass.”

“Ladies, the most important thing is your tits and your ass and what you are willing to do with them.”

Trust me, I could go on, but I will stop for the sake of public decency. Mike is employed by Abby’s boss to rejuvenate the flagging news show’s ratings. The fact that Mike gets approved to appear on a morning show that also has segments on Patty the porpoise must be the stuff of Hollywood magic.

Predictably, Mike causes the ratings to soar, much to Abby’s chagrin. However, she decides to stop her tirade against him when she sets her sights on her handsome new doctor neighbor, Collin (Eric Winter) who displays all of the charisma of a Ken doll cut-out. Abby though, sees him as the “one” and decides that she’s going to put Mike’s skills to the test in order to “get him.”

The predator/prey relationship that emerges could be featured on the best of “Animal Planet” as Abby circles, stalks, and goes in for the kill under Mike’s misguided, misogynistic tutelage. Somehow in the midst of all Mike’s rantings on “tits and ass,” we are supposed to believe that Abby falls for him. Ick. Or should I say dick?

If this whole play by play isn’t nauseating enough watching Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler interact will have the viewer grabbing Tums by the fistful. Sure, they are both attractive people in their own right, but together? Trust me, something is just not quite right. It looks awkward and uncomfortable. Chemistry? Not hardly. More heat could be generated between two wet matches.

The real ugliness in The Ugly Truth is the perpetuation of damaging stereotypes and offensive ideologies that are given breath, life, and ample screen time. If love is a game to be played, then there must be winners and losers. The loss that I am most acutely feeling is the loss of time, energy, and the scrap of dignity that I left somewhere on the floor of the theater. The truth? Skip it!

We are not going to tell you where this movie is playing because it is damn awful and Rotten Tomatoes agrees with us. You look disgusted, sorry ladies.

More Articles