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Review: Opposites Attract In 'The Ugly Truth'

July 21st, 2009 1:33pm EDT
The Ugly Truth"The Ugly Truth" is not a terribly great film but it's not a terribly bad film either. It's probably what any person seeking out a film starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler -- with a surprising, and totally warranted based on language alone, R rating -- as total opposites that, at first, can't stand being in the same room together, would expect. So, having that been said, it's hard to completely criticize a film that sets out to do exactly what it wants.

Katherine Heigl is Abby. This is not exactly the Katherine Heigl we are used to seeing in her recent films. This is a very uptight Type A personality driven Katherine Heigl who is a producer for the local Sacramento morning news show. Not all is well at work: ratings are down and the current anchors -- played as a married couple by the quite hilarious and quite underused John Michael Higgins and Cheryl Hines -- aren't bringing in the viewers that they once did. Enter Mike (Gerard Butler). Mike had his own show on a local cable access show called "The Ugly Truth" where he gives "straight-talk" to women about their relationships. The women that call in (including Abby!) don't particularly like Mike -- who is quite boorish and crude -- but they do watch.

Considering the ratings boost, Abby's station -- to Abby's chagrin -- bring Mike on board to do a morning segment which usually involves videos of animals having sex or the occasional jello wrestling match involving bikini clad women. Naturally, Abby is disgusted by Mike but eventually listens to his advice on how to woo her new neighbor -- an impossibly handsome young doctor! -- and it works! At times going as far as recreating scenes from (albeit it a gender opposite) "Cyrano de Bergerac" as Mike feeds every line Abby says at a minor league baseball game.

The Ugly Truth

The Ugly Truth © Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Inc.



Based on the above description it's not too surprising what comes next in the relationship involving, you know, the two A-List stars of the film. It's not particularly original but, again, it's going to be exactly the film that the movie going public expects. Well, except, maybe, the R rating. In 2009 a film like this -- a non Apatow inspired romantic comedy -- is usually saddled with, at worst, a safe PG-13. So, yes, it's surprising the amount (and level) of expletives that are casually thrown around in what looks like your typical "rom-com." Not that there's anything wrong with that; in a way it was quite refreshing. The shock will come to the parents who think they are taking their children to see some light romantic fare ... which might turn out to be, indeed, the bona fide ugly truth.

Grade: B-

Mike Ryan
"Mike's Pulse" is a column written by transplanted Midwesterner and current New Yorker Mike Ryan. For any compliments or complaints -- preferably the former -- you may contact Mike directly at miker@starpulse.com
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