Men vs women, the age-old battle of the sexes which has raged since cavemen wanted to drag the womenfolk back to their caves, while the women would prefer to sit and watch the next instalment of When Dinosaurs Go Bad. Back in the golden days of Hollywood no pair summed up this struggle better than Doris Day and Rock Hudson, who made some great movies about being pitted against each other which became a template for others to follow, most recently with the release of The Ugly Truth, which has made the leap onto Blu-ray.
Abby (Katherine Heigl) is a controlling, almost OCD, producer on a morning breakfast show. After a series of failed dates, her love life is looking as lacklustre as the morning breakfast show she is working on. With falling ratings and warring anchors, the studio’s director decides what the show needs is new blood. Enter Mike (Gerard Butler), a brash and vulgar shock jock who’s cable show The Ugly Truth has become a cult hit with his no nonsense approach to how women need to act around men.
It is hate at first sight for Abby, but when she wants to snare her perfect man she has no choice but to take help from Mike. I am sure you can figure out the rest from here!
The Ugly Truth is the sort of movie that, once you have finished watching it, you wish you could get back the two and a bit hours you have just wasted watching what could probably only be classed as the most unromantic, crude, uncomfortable and unfunny romantic comedy ever put onto film.
For starters, the root of the problem for this film is in the awful script that was used. Now, I am not a Hollywood producer, but if that pile of garbage had landed on my desk I would have dropped it straight into the recycling bin, which would have been the fairest and kindest thing I could have done for the planet as a whole.
As with most rom-coms, the story progression is glaringly obvious, but in this movie is it damn right insulting. It is as if the writers thought I needed to have my hand taken and guided through each and every step, which becomes tedious after the first 10 minutes, irritating after the first half hour, and by the time you are an hour in, steam is slowing starting to vent from your ears and nose.
Coupled with the lack of plot is a narrative that wants to be in a Judd Apatow movie, but instead of being funny ends up being plain insulting. If I want to hear people curse like a frat boy I could watch any number of other movies that do it better and actually make you laugh. What I find most insulting about this, though, is that the female lead in this movie, Katherine Heigl not only insulted the movie that really cemented her as a Hollywood star, Knocked Up, as sexist, she also pulled herself out of the Emmy race for best actress for her work on Grey’s Anatomy, as she felt the writing had not been strong enough that year. To make such a stand and then, not only film, but also produce this tripe surely proves she should no longer be allowed to speak in public.
When making a rom-com the key ingredient has to be the leads and, sadly, as with the rest of this film, the audience is left let down with a cold and unlikeable female lead with Heigl and what really could only be described as a phoned in performance by her counterpart Butler, who at one point I wished had torn down the curtains, made himself a toga, grabbed a sword and killed the cast before turning the blade on himself as punishment for creating this dud of a movie. As the main focus on the movie stays with the leads, the supporting cast are criminally underused and various plotlines carry on around the leads with no real resolution or, in fact, point to the main story.
In all, The Ugly Truth is an ugly movie and has the ability to insult and offend its audience while thinking it is funny and clever. If you want to watch a good rom-com this Valentine’s Day, give this movie a wide birth and opt for something like The Proposal instead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
To prove I take my reviewing very seriously, rather than automatically using this disc as a coaster I managed to gather the strength and watch the extras provided which include a director’s commentary on select scenes, a gag reel which manages to be less funny than the movie itself (which is quite a feat!), two alternative endings, some deleted and extended scenes, which add nothing to the movie at all, and two documentaries: The Truth is Ugly: Capturing the Male & Female Point of View, which is interesting only to see the writers interviewed as one of them looks like spray tanned Stepford wife and another called The Art of Laughter: A Making of Hilarious Proportions, which I can only consider to be an ironic title after watching the main feature.
The only two things I cannot complain about are the audio and picture formats on the disc. The 1080p transfer makes the film look stunning on the screen and the 6.1 sound plays beautifully. A shame it was wasted on this.
The Ugly Truth is out now on Blu-ray and available from the Den Of Geek Store.