Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

The Ugly Truth


Review by Patrick Hodges

Men are pigs.  All of them.  Yes, you too.

At least, that’s what The Ugly Truth would have you believe.  That is the mantra of Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler), who fearlessly tells women on his cable-access show that they either need to cater to men’s basest instincts or be doomed to remain alone forever.

This, of course, outrages Abby (Katherine Heigl), a romantically-challenged TV show producer who still believes that Mr. Perfect is out there and is just waiting to be found.  What outrages her even more is when her network hires Mike to co-anchor HER show in order to galvanize the show’s flagging ratings.  As you might expect, the two are at loggerheads from the first minute.

Eventually, a deal is struck between them:  Mike must help Abby successfully navigate her burgeoning relationship with an orthopedic surgeon named Colin (Eric Winter), or he’ll quit his job.  Of course, this involves the two of them having to get to know each other quite well, and this being a romantic comedy, it can only lead to one conclusion.

By far the film’s funniest moments are early on, especially the conversations between misogynistic Mike and control-freak Abby, especially a couple of scenes that find Abby, shall we say, sexually embarrassed.  But as time wears on, the whole movie dissolves into a puddle of romantic goo.

Given that Abby and Mike are polar opposites, it is inevitable that Mike will become less crass and Abby will become less uptight.  Eventually, they meet somewhere in the middle, by which time neither character is even remotely interesting.  And then they take a hot-air balloon ride. 

Being a man, even I must admit that there were more than a few particles of truth in Mike’s sexist rantings, but it’s overgeneralizations like his, which are regrettably shared by millions of people, that make relationships the minefield that they are today.  The Ugly Truth should NOT be used as a handbook for attracting the opposite sex… unless you’re the type who covets failure.

2 / 5 stars

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