One of the great pleasures of being a movie fan is when you are pleasantly surprised. I love it when I see a movie whose marketing led me to believe that it would be awful and it actually turns out to be pretty good. The most recent example of this for me was The Proposal, a movie that should have so thoroughly insulted my taste and intelligence that my brains should have leaped out of my skull in protest and run screaming for having been forced to view it. Instead, the Sandra Bullock romantic comedy actually turned out to be quite pleasant. This leads me to this week's release of The Ugly Truth. I've written about it a couple times and each time concluded that it would be a true horror but I always held out the hope that I'll be surprised and it would be good. So, was I surprised.
Oh Lordy Lord no. The Ugly Truth is to movies what flames coming out of your privates would be to using the restroom.
I've learned a lot from The Ugly Truth. I learned that a woman can be smart, intelligent, competent and sophisticated AND simultaneously she can be so mindbogglingly stupid that you seriously wonder if she knows how to wipe her own ass. I learned that today's woman must be a librarian in the living room and a stripper in the bedroom. I assume she must also be a physicist in the kitchen and a Navy SEAL in the bathroom. If she falls short in any of these roles, she will have failed as a woman and will die old and unloved, forgotten by society and mocked by children. But hey, there's good news. A woman need only find a crude, obnoxious misogynist to educate her in the ways of womanly behavior that will successfully seduce a man, get him to buy her a house and impregnate her with 2.4 children.
Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler play Abby and Mike, two opposing personalities who could never ever fall in love and end up together at the end of the movie no way no how. I mean, they experience instant dislike for each other when they first meet so how could they possibly end up together?
Abby is the producer of a Regis and Kelly type morning show in Sacramento, CA. She's very good at handling various types of personalities and crises with instinct, intelligence and cool confidence, traits which abandon her completely in every other facet of her life. When going on a first date, she confesses to the man that she has thoroughly investigated him and even has him clarify a few points of her research. She does this, I assume, because she has never encountered people before and doesn't realize that this will instantly cause them to be creeped out. Enter Mike. Mike is a jerk on a cable access show called the Ugly Truth, said Truth being that every offensive gender stereotype is true. Abby's station manager/boss thinks it would be a good idea to hire him for the morning show. If you are wondering why you've never seen anything like that on any good natured light-entertainment morning show you've ever seen, it's because having an offensive misogynist who speaks graphically about sex and male-female relationships in an environment like that actually is NOT a good idea. Even if it did garner huge ratings, the only sponsors you'd get would range from strip clubs to sex toy shops.
Anyway, Abby becomes infatuated with a handsome surgeon who moved into her apartment complex and Mike agrees to help her land him (first bit of advice being to avoid behaving like a crazed stalker). The first thing he teaches her is that she's extremely hot. Somehow, a woman who looks like Katherine Heigl has failed to notice that she possesses a certain amount of sex appeal. Most girls figure out during their teen years that highlighting certain sexual attributes can help to entice boys but Abby seems to have spent that time honing her impressive ability to repulse men by acting insane.
Naturally, Mike's advice works and Dr. Goodbody begins to fall for Abby but Abby and Mike start thinking they'd like to be with each other and OH NO THEY'LL NEVER BE TOGETHER IT'S SO SAD but it all works out. The End!
Am I really spoiling anything? No, I've left out details and specifics and frankly, if you couldn't figure the basic framework of the plot on your own then you should never enter a movie theater again.
Is The Ugly Truth funny? No. Oh, it has its moments but not enough to overcome the fact that the lead characters range from repulsive to stupid. In the link above, I linked to a YouTube clip (since deleted) of what was supposedly the movie's funniest scene where Abby is wearing vibrating panties in a restaurant during a business dinner (don't ask) and a ten year old boy stumbles upon the remote control and begins to unintentionally violate her. I mostly just felt bad and embarrassed for her plus I felt annoyed when douchebag Mike figures out what's going on and just smiles and does nothing. There is one funny scene where she spills soda in the doctor's lap and ends up appearing to be giving him a blowjob while trying to clean him up but, as I said, that was ONE funny scene.
The Ugly Truth is an unfunny movie about stupid, offensive people who end up doing stupid, offensive things. To show how bad it is, I can no longer say, "At least it's not as bad as Transformers."