An uptight television producer takes control of a morning show segment on modern relationships hosted by a misogynistic man.An uptight television producer takes control of a morning show segment on modern relationships hosted by a misogynistic man.An uptight television producer takes control of a morning show segment on modern relationships hosted by a misogynistic man.
THe premise is as such. Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) is a perfectionist, "control freak"-ish morning show TV producer whose show is on the verge of being canceled due to low ratings. One night, she comes home from a disastrous date and happens to watch a segment of a TV show, "The Ugly Truth", hosted by "shock jock" by Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler). Abby calls into his show and argues with Mike on-air, in response to cynical attitude about relationships prompts, which leads to her quite literally "hating his guts". The next day, she discovers that the station she works for has hired Mike to do a segment on her show in order to boost ratings. This kicks starts a very storm tossed relationship between the two which lends itself to numerous comedic turns. Sooner than expected, Abby just so happens to fall for her doctor neighbor and she grudgingly goes to Mike for advice at "netting" the man of her dreams(actually the only man who fulfilled her listed criteria). The unlikely pair cut a deal in that if she is She agrees to his advice and is successful, it would prove Mike's theories on relationships and she will work happily with him. However if Mike fails, he agrees to quit.
Anyone with experience in this genre of movies can more or less fill in the rest of the story. Unlikely pair work together, more jokes, fall for each other, more jokes, Love triangle develops, tragedy strikes, touching finale. Finish.
In this case, I would admit that the usual formula actually works to a certain extent. It allows the audience the satisfaction of actually knowing what they are watching, and getting exactly what they are expecting. This is not avant Garde cinema, but it is entertainment. Also the formulaic story allows one to focus more on the scripting and acting, which IMO is where this movie truly shines.
Witty banter and a cornucopia of innuendo-ed jokes fill up most of the film. Sexual references abound but are written in such a tactful way that they do not come off as crass or crude. Most sexual innuendo jokes tend to be rude and sometimes offensive; thankfully thats not the case here.There is wit to the humor in this movie that utilities word puns and double meanings in their jokes to good effect. Thankfully, the humor is not over-played and the more serious moments of the movie are spliced very well into the overall narrative. The characters and situations are written in such a way that anyone could easily identify with them, which lends to a greater emotional involvement in the film.
Stellar acting by the cast also helps. Special mention goes to Gerald Butler who proves to be an exceedingly versatile actor. He nails the carefree, in-your-face, yet internally bitter character of Mike Chadway to the point that it is easy to forget the actor playing the role and just become so involved with character himself. Katherine Heigl does a satisfying job as Abby, lending both her acting chops and eye candy to the complex lead role.
My only beef with this movie is that it could have expounded on the relationship themes a little more instead of falling back on "the usual thing". Having a clearer conflict of ideals between Mike and Abby and maybe going deeper into the strengths and flaws of the ideas presented would have turned this film into a more thought provoking experience. "what men really want" , "what women really look for", "loving the 'me you want to see' or loving 'the real me'", all those little tidbits would have made benefited from a more central role in the film which would have given this movie a "fresher" feel instead of the stale standard story.
I was personally very entertained by "The Ugly Truth" especially in the laughs department, not just because the jokes were extremely funny, but that they were also well written, witty and made sense without being offensive. I loved superb acting by the leads, excellent cast chemistry and an overall sense of escapism.
At the end of the day, All i can say is that unless you are already a fan of romantic comedies or unless you have an open mind when it comes to various movie genre(<---like me), its best to stick with what you like. "The Ugly Truth" won't convert staunch action movie junkies or epic fantasy aficionados anytime soon, that's for sure, but just sit back relax and enjoy a good laugh that is easy on the brain. A hearty chuckle and a few quick tugs at the heartstrings now and then is good for body, mind and soul.
Note to the "not so proficient in English" crowd: Keep your ears open for all the double meanings behind the jokes, its funnier that way.
- Sep 23, 2009