Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Movie Series: The Ugly Truth

The Ugly Truth

Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler practice for Dancing with the Stars as a back up plan in case their movie doesn't bring in enough money.

I did not have high expectations for The Ugly Truth, especially after reading less than stellar reviews in both Entertainment Weekly and my local paper. But, I left the movie happy enough with the money I spent to see it. The Ugly Truth follows a pretty conventional plot line. There are no surprises as to how the movie will play out, but sometimes going back to the basics can still be entertaining.

The movie starts with a few scenes showing Katherine Heigl's character, Abby, producing a morning news show that is quickly going down the drain with its low ratings. Obviously, someone has to come in to shake things up. Enter Mike: an obnoxious man in his 30's who hosts a cable access show called "The Ugly Truth." The show is meant to enlighten women by screaming at them that men are simple and only care about how hot a girl is and how good they are in bed. He insists men can't change and that they will never fulfill the myth "He loves me because of my personality!" that girls delude themselves with. Abby calls in to argue with him, but he is ready for her. His comebacks are quicker and more severe, and Abby is left dumb-founded as she hangs up. Unlucky for Abby, Mike has been hand-picked by her boss to do a shorter version of "The Ugly Truth" on her news show the next morning.

As Abby gets increasingly annoyed with him, Mike strikes a deal. If she follows all his advice on how to start dating her new neighbor and it works, she has to agree to start working nicely with Mike. If his advice fails, he promises to quit the show. She takes him up on his offer, and then the predictable plot line continues on. The more time Mike spends with Abby teaching her to dress sexy, lengthen her hair, and keep conversations vague and minimal, he begins to fall for all the quirks he is instructing her to hide from Colin (the sexy neighbor who is also a surgeon).

Heigl and Butler have a fair amount of chemistry that was absolutely essential for this movie to stay afloat. Their scene at the dance club was one of my favorites because not only did it highlight one of the peak moments of their attraction, but it also made me really want to go dancing! As Dane Cook would say, "I just want to dance!" I didn't really like Abby's character too much, though. I actually found Mike way more realistic. I agreed with most of his advice about guys- they are way simpler than we make them up to be. Plus, Mike had a soft side in the few scenes they showed with his sister's family. Abby was kind of over the top on the obsessive compulsive personality. I don't know any girl who would pull out a printed version of a guy's online profile on a date. We may be thinking about your profile, but we would never admit we know those details ;)

As for the supporting cast, there really weren't any stand outs. The only ones I liked were the husband and wife news anchors. I feel like they stole the scenes they were in with their passive aggressive fighting in the beginning, and their comical sexual tension later. Abby's friend didn't really add anything to the film, and while Mike's sister and nephew were good characters, they were barely in three minutes of the movie.

Last little things I liked about the movie: 1) Katherine Heigl's wardrobe (like the cute outfit pictured in the picnic scene above) and 2) "Right Round" plays during the credits which made me think of "The Hangover." If you want to see a run of the mill romantic comedy, check this one out. It's more guy friendly than the usual chick flick because of the course language and emphasis on how guys view women, so don't feel bad about dragging guy friends and boyfriends along. I'd agree with the critics and give this two stars. It was cute for what it was, but you could wait to rent this later when you want to spend a night in.

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