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Men are only after one thing...or are they?
The Ugly Truth (DVD)
Member Name: FairyG
The Ugly Truth (DVD)
Advantages: Funny in places.
Disadvantages: Not for the easily embarassed.
Abby Richter (Katharine Heigl) is the producer of a morning television show, and is also an uptight, prudish control freak. Somehow though, she still manages to be popular and well liked, but just doesn't seem to be able to find the right guy. She tries internet dating, armed with a list of perfect attributes she's looking for in a man, but things aren't going well.
But that's not her only problem. Her show is dropping in the ratings and needs a boost. Her boss brings in a sexist and raunchy new presenter Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler), to present a program called The Ugly Truth. The ratings shoot up, but Abby can't stand Mike's crude, coarse style. However, when a handsome new neighbor moves in next door to Abby, Mike is willing to offer some advice on how to get his interest, and to her surprise it starts to work. However, as Mike guides Abby in how to be less of a control freak in order to attract men, he begins to find he's falling for her himself.
There seems to be a trend in film making at the moment to show career-minded women as pushy control freaks, but it also seems to reflect the real issues that career women face. How are powerful, successful women supposed to find someone who is their social equal without scaring them away? It's a subject that's discussed a lot in the film and, I think, something that a lot of women watching the film will identify with.
Women aren't content to be subservient little housewives any more, and to its credit, the film finds a way to show that that's fine, instead of crushing the spirit out of the character. The film shows that a woman can't pretend to be passive just to satisfy a man's expectations, but has to be true to herself. Mike's character is cynical and sexist, but along the way he has some lessons to learn of his own. The film is fairly even handed though, in showing both characters learning something useful from the opposite sex.
Another issue that is discussed often in the film is sex. Mike discusses it on his television show, triggering his co-presenters into discussing their sexual issues. He also discusses sex in explicit detail with Abby, to her mortification. There's also a scene to rival the well known restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally. It's quite funny, but not for the easily embarrassed. It's a strange film really, that's all over the place. It can't decide whether to be crude, serious or romantic, but is an odd jumble of all of them. Strangely it works well enough, although it will never achieve When Harry Met Sally status.
Gerard Butler is suitably cast in this as the rough and ready type who can't even be bothered to shave, except that he's just a bit too past his sell by date. Katharine Heigl looks the part, but really fails to put enough into the role to show she's a character trying to pretend she's not who she seems to be. This is where Sandra Bullock succeeded much better. Heigl and Butler don't seem to have great comic timing together, but they do have enough onscreen chemistry to make it watchable.
As romantic comedies go, it's reasonably entertaining for both men and women, and probably worth renting on dvd if it's the kind of film you like.
Director: Robert Luketic
Running Time: 96 minutes
Summary: A punchy look at modern relationships