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The Ugly Truth (9/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 96 minutes
Not for children.
Although Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) is intended
to be so over-the-top outrageous that he’s funny, most of what he says
(save, maybe, for his emphasis on oral sex) makes sense and describes
how many men react to a woman so accurately that it should be emailed to
every woman around the world.
What he tells Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl, who
also gets an Executive Producer credit) is so frank and right on that it
is uproariously funny while he’s laying down the rules to her. This was
just one of the many places where I laughed out loud.
Volumes could be written about what women don’t
know about men. This movie is a prime example, although if you watch it,
you won’t realize why. That’s why I’m here.
It was written by three women, Nicole Eastman (who
also gets story credit) with help from Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten
Smith. Eastman says, “Mike was a completely fictional character I wanted
to be as obnoxious and rude as possible, so I can’t believe how much men
say they relate to him!” Here’s the creator thinking that she’s writing
rubbish coming out of Mike’s mouth when it pretty much captures the way
men feel (except, as I stated above, for what these women have him say
about oral sex), although they aren’t really as simian as these women
created Mike. Agrees Lutz, “I definitely disagree with all his crazy,
insane beliefs – and yet somehow I’m completely tickled by Mike.” Talk
about out of the mouths of babes (no pun intended)!
These women are creating a guy they think is
ridiculous but, apparently unbeknownst to them, what he says is a pretty
accurate reflection of the way men feel about relationships and, even
more pertinent, how they react to what women talk about. How’s that for
ironic? Most men will be in the audience telling their girlfriends,
“Yeah, listen to this guy!” The fact that the women who wrote this film
still don’t have a clue is as funny as the film itself. But the sad fact
is that no woman will listen to anything Mike says and will, thus,
continue to completely misunderstand men.
Abby is the producer of a low-rated morning show in
when Mike is hired to bring up the ratings. He not only brings up the
ratings, he raises Abby’s temperature to the boiling point because what
he says is directly opposite what she believes in her super-controlled
life. When she gets involved with the man of her dreams, Colin (Eric
Winter), Mike “helps” her to understand how to hook and reel him in.
While what happens may be terribly predictable, it is so well acted by
Heigl and Butler
and so well directed by Robert Luketic, that it had me almost rolling in
Heigl is not only a supremely gorgeous woman
(beautifully shot by Director of Photography Russell Carpenter; there’s
a close-up of Heigl’s face near the end of the film that is
breathtaking; that is, if you’re a guy), she is also a supremely gifted
comedienne. Some of the situations penned by Eastman, Lutz, Smith could
fall flat if not presented by talented actors and translated by a gifted
This is a screwball comedy in the tradition of Cary
Grant and Irene Dunne. In fact, it’s odd coincidence that this title is
so close to the Leo McCarey, Grant-Dunne classic, “The Awful Truth”
(1937), because none of the participants even mention that movie as
inspiration. Regardless, McCarey, Grant, and Dunne couldn’t have done it
Despite the truths they put in Mike’s mouth, they
created him to be as much of a Neanderthal as possible, even making him
look like an orangutan, always needing a shave, looking hairy and messy
(contrasted with Colin, who is always clean-shaven, polite, and
well-dressed). Men who aren’t as goofy appearing as Mike still have the
same outlook. The women manipulate it to make it look as if men with
these opinions are all little more than apes. Forget what he says about
oral sex; instead think of the other things he says and therein you will
find a lot of truth.
I had seen the trailers before I saw the screening
and I wasn’t anticipating much because they make it look charmless and
stupid. This is a film that could be done in by poor promotion. So my
advice is to ignore the trailers and come see this film if you want some
A word of warning; this is an adult movie with
adult language and frank discussions of sexual activity. Some could find
it offensive. I thought it was hilarious.
Every guy should drag his girlfriend/wife to this
movie (not necessarily by the hair). To women I say, go to the film and
laugh at what Mike says, but take notes.