Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Ugly Truth

“The truth isn’t pretty” is the catchphrase used by public access talk show  host and self proclaimed love expert Mike Chadway. Unfortunately it is also a fair description of this movie. 

The premise is typical rom-com fodder. Take one uptight, OCD, list obsessed woman with serious dating issues and toss her into a forced encounter with a guy who has made a choice out of being publicly rude, crude and romantically unacceptable and let the games begin. 

Abby is the producer of a sinking ship local morning news/talk show. She’s beautiful, bright, attentive to details and a total romantic freak. She is on the search for Mr Right and has lists and check sheets to help her find him. She does background checks on dates and brings talking points. Basically she’s a total nightmare. 

Then one night in a moment that might be serendipity or might be a badly played coincidence,  her cat steps on the remote and changes  the channel to “The Ugly Truth”, a public access talk show where  the singular star, one Mike Chadway, sets the record straight about the value of self help relationship books and what will really attract a guy (it’s not her personality). Abby is of course totally offended and calls in, only to be ripped to shreds by Mike who dubs her checklist absurd and even ‘gay’. 

Quite to Abby’s shock (but not the viewers), she walks into work the next day to discover that her bosses were watching and love Mike’s schtick so much they want to bring him onto the show, forcing Abby, who is quickly outted as the caller, to work with Mike. Equally quickly Mike discovers that Abby is attracted to her new neighbor and makes a bet with Miss Checklist. If his advice doesn’t help her score her guy, he’ll quit and never darken her studio again. 

Of course Abby is so sure of her side that she takes the bet. And yes, Mike’s advice does help her get her guy. Sort of. Turns out that she gets tired of game playing and wants to be herself.  Which is exactly the type of girl that Mr Wonderful detests. But in a not so strange twist of fate, Mike finds himself attracted to Abby and all her flaws. Only he thinks she’s in love with the other guy. So he quits as promised, taking his gig to another network. Abby has to find a replacement, who is terrible and is actually fired on air during an on location filming where Mike just happens to be with his show. Leading to a totally lame remeet where Mike confesses his love to Abby.

Romantic Comedies are by their nature pretty predictable but this one is so bad it stinks. Really stinks. And the few decent bits are only funny if you enjoy fart jokes and the humor of The Apatow School of Comedy (which features a lot of tit and penis cracks among other NSFW topics).  

Heigl’s Abby comes right off the pages of “How to create a pretty but totally neurotic woman 101”. And Butler’s Mike falls flat when he pulls a 180 and basically confesses to his nephew that all his talk is bunk. And since  he doesn’t really believe in what he’s saying, his turn around at the end is shot down. 

The supporting cast is also bland and predictable. Winter’s “Perfect Man” is predictably drawn. His  attractive appearance is what first catches Abby’s attention and leads to some shouts of hypocrite. He of course has a very nice job as a doctor (implying money) which adds to ‘shallow much’ points against Miss Abby.  But he lacks any real personality. He’s a living Ken doll  with a painted  on smile who merely looks good and plays into Mike’s gig. 

I missed this movie in the theaters and frankly I’m glad. It was barely worth the price of a DVD rental.  Laying down a twenty on this flick would have been burning money.

Quick Facts
Released July 2009
Rated: R
Director: Robert Luketic
Writers: Nicole Eastman,
Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith
Stars: Katherine Heigl,  Gerard Butler
Get it:
Amazon DVDBlu-ray

Amazon CDMP3

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