The Ugly Truth is that the romantic comedy has hit a low point. Now I know that most films of this genre are not that original when you think about their basic structure, however, there are some that hide this fact a lot better than others. Or at least know how to keep the hopeless romantics, such as myself, unaware of this because we are too invested in and rooting for the characters to get their happy ending.
This is the first place that this movie went wrong. The characters felt underdeveloped. Take Abby (Katherine Heigl); though she holds a strong position at work, the character traits that apparently helped her get there are all considered her flaws, and when she isn’t using these to get her way she is being put in her place by her overbearing boss (but don’t even get me started on that guy). Then there is Mike (Gerard Butler), who fills the role of the misogynistic pig with a heart hidden deep within. Why exactly should we root for the guy who tries to change the woman into what every man wants (insert makeover montage) and falls for her while she is playing the part. This is where I am most confused. Sure he sees her “adorable” happy dance every other scene, and in the others he falls victim to her constant state of PMS, but are we really supposed to believe that he fell in love with her? I am still on a fence about that one…
Now I know I may be doing a lot of complaining about a movie I gave an average rating to. But that is because if you can get past this, there were times when the dialog was witty and the comedic situations actually hit the mark. Take the scenes involving the married news anchors (played by Cheryl Hines and John Michael Higgins). Their constant bickering followed by their path back to loving each other was entertaining to watch, and probably a highlight for me. And then there were other moments as well. I mean, everyone finds a woman hanging upside down in a tree with her underwear exposed funny, right? Even the vibrating panty scene, though nothing new, brought the laughs out of the audience.
Unfortunately, these moments were not enough to bring this film past mediocrity, and when I walked out of the theater I had this weird memory lapse where I felt almost as if I had not actually seen anything. My advice to you? If you do see this, make sure to follow it with a viewing of 500 Days of Summer because your faith in the romantic comedy will be restored.
Final Grade: C