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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sweet romance that won't make your teeth rot
With a few exceptions, I normally loathe formulaic romantic comedies. The Truth About... is as formulaic as they come. So what makes it so good?
Janeane Garofalo, for one. I've always enjoyed her humor and thought she was a babe, but she convincingly, understandingly conveys what it's like to believe you're ugly and unlovable. I was surprised she didn't get more,...
Published on January 10, 2000 by David Tepper

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, light romantic comedy
This is an enjoyable female version of Ceranco de Bergerac tale. I think a common misperception of this film is that Janeane Garofalo's character, Abby, is supposed to be an unattractive woman who can't get a man because of her dowdy looks. In fact, Abby is actually someone who has many attractive attributes--she's a smart, funny, pretty professional woman who can get a...
Published on September 22, 2007 by Allison


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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sweet romance that won't make your teeth rot, January 10, 2000
With a few exceptions, I normally loathe formulaic romantic comedies. The Truth About... is as formulaic as they come. So what makes it so good?
Janeane Garofalo, for one. I've always enjoyed her humor and thought she was a babe, but she convincingly, understandingly conveys what it's like to believe you're ugly and unlovable. I was surprised she didn't get more, meatier roles after her wonderful turn in this movie.
Ben Chaplin, he of the Perpetual Puppy-Dog Eyes, is perfectly cast as the love interest. I would never in a million years have figured him for a leading man role, but he's so right as a smitten suitor, not entirely sure of what he's feeling or what his next move should be, but enjoying the wild ride anyway.
Even Uma Thurman gets to work her acting chops in a role parallelling Garofalo's, as a blonde model who just wants to be taken seriously. Her pastry scene with Chaplin is one of the most erotic I've ever watched.
The chemistry between the three is natural as can be, and even though the whole movie is clicheed, it never feels like it is. Don't look for anything deep here; it's simply a great movie.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly ..... serious. I'll try to explain, September 28, 2006
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This review is from: The Truth About Cats & Dogs (DVD)
Two of my absolute favorite women here - Janeane and Uma, so I enjoyed seeing it when it first came out. Then I watched it again last week. Wow what a difference eight years made in my perception.

Alot of humor is funny because there is some underlying truth. But have you ever heard the dead silence following the punch line because a joke struck a little too close to home?

Of all the thousands of actresses they could have picked,... they picked these two, who because they personify so perfectly the sterotypes that are supposed to make this movie so funny..., I didn't laugh as much as I had the first time.

Here are two fabulous women, Jeanane and Uma, who contribute to the life experience of the rest of us here on the planet simply because they exist. Due in part to their humanity and vulnerability, they are gifted actresses (and brillint comedienne and stunning model). But they are also people who I suspect in real life, because of something as arbitrary as the exterior contours of their bodies, also probably suffer because of these external realities.

I know its supposed to be a comedy, but I couldn't help but think about the real life experiences of women like these. Sure I laughed when it was funny, like when Jeanane looks up after the idiot guy breaks her violin bow (who does deadpan, sarcastic, and angst better than Janeane?), and when Uma makes the guy fall off his bike. But I couldn't help but empathize with both women. Sure the ending is sweet, if totally unrealistic. You hope for both women that they will find quality men who understand them, and are worthy of them. But in a movie with "The Truth About..." in its title, you know what the truth really is.

Five stars because I enjoyed it. I wish I could find more of Jeanane in a comedy setting, she is absolutely brilliant, unique, and wonderful (and hot - the phone sex was amazing!). Uma is marvelous, and I hope she does less action work in the future, so her gorgeous personality can come out like I think it did in this movie.

The characters end as friends because they were loyal to each other - the foundation of a great relationship. This was my happy ending (which occured ten or fifteen minutes before the romantic one)!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mixing up the formula, July 7, 2000
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This movie is privvy to one of the weirdest gimmicks of all time -- what if the romantic lead were actually the side kick and the side kick the romantic lead. You take the normal, formulaic romantic comedy and intentionally and self-consciously cast contrarily so that Janeane Garofalo is the romantic lead and Uma Thurman is her side kick. Moreover, you make no attempt to hide Uma's beauty (remember "Pretty Woman" and Laura San Giocomo costumed to avoid us noticing her). In this case, the whole point is Noelle (Uma Thurman) is prettier than Abby (Janeane Garafalo). This is brought to a head by Brian (Ben Chaplin) who calls in to Abby's veterinary radio show and finds himself intrigued by the woman he speaks to on the telephone. The problem enters when Abby, thinking he would rather date Noelle, introduces Noelle as herself. This would be alright if this guy were a one night stand, but he is serious and real and wants the charming woman he met on the telephone. Even he begins to notice that Noelle (despite her obvious charms) is not that woman. In the only sex scene in the movie (conducted via telephone) Brian and Abby finally do come together, but her deception, born of insecurity, thwarts them. Finally it is Noelle who cracks, her love for Abby overcoming her lust for Brian and all is made right.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does *not* rely on Abby not being attractive., June 20, 1999
By A Customer
The movie does not hinge on Abby *being* unattractive; it hinges on her *expecting* Brian to think she's unattractive. The same culture that has conditioned most men to ignore her has conditioned her to expect to be ignored. The story is about them *both* overcoming that conditioning.
It's a fabulous movie. I hope it comes out on DVD soon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Films, February 4, 2011
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I first watched The Truth About Cats and Dogs, many years ago when it was first released on VHS. It remains one of the movies that, whenever I'm running through my library of films and my finger comes across it, I have to take it out and watch again. As some of the other reviews have mentioned, it's rather simple in its telling and the outcome is obvious from the onset. However, it's a story so full of "moments" that it's wonderful to watch over-and-over.

Oddly, I've never been an Uma Thurman fan. This movie is the exception and possibly because it makes fun of the very attributes normally touted for her roles. Quite the opposite is true about Janeane Garofalo... I've always enjoyed her acting (more so than her comedy--go figure) and have been disappointed that there weren't more films with her in a central role. So "Truth..." gives me a good dose of Janeane, and Uma in a form that I can enjoy. As for Ben Chaplin, he was delightful and charming, and it was nice to see a male lead who was attracted to a woman for something other than her physical attributes.

As for my favorite scene (just one of the story's "moments"), it would have to be Janeane's and Ben's walk along the beach which ended with them watching the sunset as the air turned cool. After offering her his coat and holding her to help her stay warm, you could feel the chemistry between the two, even before the truth of the situation had come out. It's a shame that films like this are so often dismissed as trivial and unimportant, when in fact, if the characters are believable and the tale is warm and kind, and unfolds in a way that's fitting for the circumstance, it's a good movie.

If you like romantic comedies or films that are full of warmth and feeling (with some humor thrown in for good measure), I'd recommend this one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first 5 star review - this one deserves it!, December 24, 2000
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Romantic comedy does not have the reputation of being "great." This movie is the exception to that undeserved rule.
From the first time I saw the advertisements, I knew that Abby Barnes and I had something in common. So much so, I was actually afraid to see this movie in the theatre. I was afraid to rent it. But when it came to network TV, I set the VCR, and the following night I watched it. And I watched it again the next night. And the next. And the next.
Something about this movie crawls inside you and won't let go. The characters are intensely real in their insecurities, their small-lies-turned-big-disasters. I fell 100% for Brian the first time he uttered one of his witty quips, and when I see Abby yearning for him, I yearn right along with her. When Abby's and Noel's friendship is strained by their living this lie, my heart goes out to them.
But don't think this movie is all sap. It has some of the wittiest moments I've ever seen committed to film. "It's a ked," has got to be one of my all-time favorite lines! And Uma Thurman turns eating a few bites of cake into the most sensuous scene I've seen committed to film.
The only bone of contention I have is that, while Jeneane Garafolo is a marvelous actress, even she can't convince me that she is ugly. She's gorgeous--far outshining Uma Thurman in every way--except height.
See this movie, rent this movie, buy this movie. It'll get inside you and it won't let you go. And it gives all us "books" out here hope that not everyone will judge us by our covers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceiving title but a Darling movie!, August 16, 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Truth About Cats & Dogs (DVD)
The title had me expecting some sort of a sexually oriented theme, but this is a movie you can let your children watch. Although adults will appreciate a lot more of it than they might.
Not only that, it's plain FUNNY at the same time it keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering just when the real truth will finally get spilt!
I was also amazed to see actual "phone sex" that was very cleanly done without a bit of nudity or X rated words getting involved at all. This scene would likely go over most kid's heads, but the adults sure won't miss it!
This movie is a MUST HAVE addition to any collection!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Admitting who you are and understanding what you're worth..., August 19, 1999
By A Customer
It goes to show that some of the most incredible people don't know what they are really worth. One of my favorite movies because it puts the "average" woman up against a "supermodel" type. Abby is someone all women identify with. She is our insecurity, but tames it (and makes us laugh at the crazy things we do to hang on to it). Watch this and "The Matchmaker."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uma good, but Janeane is the star, November 19, 2006
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This review is from: The Truth About Cats & Dogs (DVD)
This is the movie that made me crazy in love with Garofalo. Although it is a light "romantic comedy" that can be taken without weight, it actually has subtexts of low self esteem, isolation, and ill-conceived love interests that everyone can relate to. Of course it is going to end happily, but it has a truth about it that allows this movie to rise above its genre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Animal Kingdom, February 1, 2007
By 
Jabberwocky (Elsewhere, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Truth About Cats & Dogs (DVD)
The Truth About Cats and Dogs is a thoroughly enjoyable, refreshing movie. Janeane Garofalo uses her bread and butter acting technique of playing a cynical, depressed, miserable, pessimistic character who sees herself as an ugly duckling who no man could want.

Of course, she's not really acting. That's really her: lock, stock, and barrel. The miserable, pessimistic, vicious act isn't an act at all.

The fly in the ointment to this movie is that Uma Thurman is not a knockout. Of course, some men would prefer the tall, thin blonde over the short brunette, but the basis of the movie hinges on Uma being the gorgeous woman and Janeane being average. But it doesn't work when you believe it's the other way around. Uma Thurman has certainly looked good in some movies, but she looks haggard here.

Bottom Line: A good film about the "ugly duckling" getting the guy. Based on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac story, just like Roxanne starring Steve Martin.
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The Truth About Cats & Dogs
The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Michael Lehmann (DVD - 2001)
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