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4.2 out of 5 stars
The Ugly Truth
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111 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
"The Ugly Truth" represents something I never thought I'd see: A romantic comedy that both women and men will appreciate. Granted, it probably won't be for the same reasons. Women will like it because underneath it all, it's a fairly typical romantic comedy, the story of Girl Hates Boy, Boy Hates Girl, Boy and Girl Fall in Love Anyway. Men will like it because one of the main characters expresses much of what they think and feel on a daily basis. Everyone will like it because the story is engaging and the characters are not mere cardboard caricatures. You can actually invest in them, and you're able to care about what's going on. What could easily have been a routine date night movie is instead a surprisingly good movie that need not wait until date night. It's also genuinely funny--a bit raunchy, yes, but funny just the same.

Much of the film's success is due to the wonderful onscreen chemistry between Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. They continuously make us laugh, yet the comedy is not so broad that you can't believe them in their roles. They make a point of interacting with one another, not as comic relief but as real people. Heigl plays Abby Richter, the romantically challenged, neurotic, controlling producer of a failing Sacramento morning talk show. Butler plays Mike Chadaway, the chauvinistic host of a public access relationship program called "The Ugly Truth." He's unapologetically tell-it-like-it-is in matters of men and women. There's no such thing, he claims, as a sensitive, nurturing man who wants to connect at an emotional level. Men just want sex, plain and simple. And they only want it with attractive women.

Abby, who thinks Mike's rhetoric is appalling, is horrified when she learns that he has been hired to her station in an effort to boost ratings. They clash at every turn ... until he learns that she's interested in dating her next door neighbor--an orthopedic surgeon named Colin (Eric Winter) who just happens to be incredibly handsome. Sensing she's doing everything wrong to initiate a relationship, Mike offers to help Abby by having her test his relationships theories on Colin. She reluctantly agrees, and sure enough, Mike's methods work wonders. She dresses more provocatively. She learns to stop being critical and avoid discussing her personal problems. She learns to be the embodiment of both the saint and the sinner, or as Mike puts it, "The librarian and the stripper."

And that's when things start to get more complex. Abby is succeeding with Colin, but only at the expense of not being herself. On the other hand, could anyone love her as herself? She is, after all, known for bringing background checks and printed topics of conversation to blind dates. As for Mike, he has very definite reasons for believing that loving relationships are a sham. They're gradually revealed not only through carefully structured scenes, but also through Butler, who shows he can find the right balance between smug and sensitive. We see that Mike is the closest thing his young nephew has for a father, and even though he playfully gives the boy relationship advice, he's also quick to remind him that kids should never, ever watch his show.

Heigl also manages a balancing act with her performance, specifically between strength and vulnerability. Abby overachieves at work to compensate for a lack of a love life, which initially seems funny but steadily grows desperate. For reasons she doesn't care to admit to, she's falling in love with Mike, and he too is falling in love with her. But what about Colin? Is he with Abby only because of the façade Mike told her to put up? There's a scene between her and Colin late in the film that directly addresses this issue, and to my delight, it's handled in a way that avoids just about everything that would happen in the average romantic comedy. There are no shouting matches. There are no flying fists. There are no confrontations. There's only a quiet moment of realization that the truth is indeed ugly.

Scenes like these are wonderfully juxtaposed with moments of well written comedy. There are some very amusing moments between Cheryl Hines and John Michael Higgins as unhappily married news anchors who share the same desk and time slot. The film's single funniest scene takes place in a restaurant and involves Abby, an extremely stimulating pair of underwear, and a control device that ends up in the wrong hands.

I can say with complete honesty (and some embarrassment) that I wasn't expecting such a strong film. I certainly wasn't expecting a strong film belonging to this particular genre. What floors me is that two of the three writers of this film are Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. There are the same two that brought us "The House Bunny," one of the worst films of 2008. They certainly got it right this time around. "The Ugly Truth" is one of the best romantic comedies I've seen in a long time, a delightful and absorbing tale about the fronts people display. It's funny without lowering itself to the level of cheap gags, and this is in spite of the film's well-deserved R rating. Heigl and Butler convincingly pull off a romance, no small feat given the contrived nature of these kinds of films. At last, a date movie both the man and the woman can enjoy.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2009
this is a very raunchy right to the point film which is extremely hilarious as long as you have a very open mind and are not at all prudish. gerry and katherine play off each other with great ease and are very comfortable in this very funny sex comedy about how men really think about sex and relationships according to mike,gerrys character, against kathys character, who is a very uptight conventional chick. the film is all about their inevitable clashes against their varied opinions on this topic and how they survive working together on a early morning chat show. i thoroughly recommend this film for an extremely comedic time for both men and women. it is not your usual chick flick and most people will be able to connect with this film and its morales, even though they might not want to admit it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 20, 2009
I really enjoyed this film. Saw it first as a rental and enjoyed it so much I had to buy it. Critics are being very unkind to it and it is ending up on many lists of the worst movies of the year. This really dumfounds me. Out of all the movies out there and all the trash that exists this movie is being picked out as a target. Don't listen to any of them. This sweet, fun comedy is a twist on your standard romantic comedy and is a laugh riot. When I started watching it I thought it was a little crass but I quickly got over that. I was thrilled. A comedy that didn't follow the traditional formula. I found the plot inventive and pretty realistic. Yes, our main character played by Katherine Heigl is beautiful, single and looking for love. But she is looking for Mr. Right and not seeing men for who they really are. She is obsessive, compulsive and definitely speaks her mind. Then we have Gerard Butler who plays a crude man's man with a local cable show who gets a spot on the morning show she produces. He thinks women are looking for fantasies, phony and don't get men at all. And guess what, he speaks his mind as well. The chemistry between Heigl and Butler is hot and steamy from the beginning. Even their true dislike of each other burns up the screen. The way their friendship develops is very believable as he helps her get a man and this film is definitely a twist as he teaches her how to change her ways and why. The sexes are reversed here and I found myself agreeing with a lot of it and laughing hysterically at most of it. The ending was a great pay off and as I said whatever flaws this film has, the chemistry with Heigl and Butler makes up for any of them.

Is this film an intellectual look at relationships that is going to change life as we know it? Is it a film that will change how films and comedies are done for the rest of time? Of course not. This is a highly enjoyable romantic comedy that is inventive over the generic norm and definitely worth your time. And the blu ray version is exsquisite. Colors are vibrant and the clarity is amazing. I love it when the enhancement of blu ray makes even a comedy film levels above its dvd counterpart. So I say look beyond the negative vibe this film is getting. It is very undeserved. Give yourself a treat, especially couples, and get this film.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2009
Great comedy movie. Intended for mature audiences with the sexual nature of its humor. Katherine Heigl plays her dual role as a snobby career driven woman to the temptress.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2009
Title: The Ugly Truth

Starring: Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler
Director/Producer: Columbia Pictures
Link to IMDB page: [...]
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Hubby and I had one of those rare date nights without kids and decided to take in a movie this past weekend. We picked The Ugly Truth for the sole reason that it was rated R and looked funny. I, of course, was thrilled to see another film with Gerard Butler in it. Hubby just wanted to see something that wasn't all lovey dovey. I'm happy to report that we both laughed our @$$E$ off. It's more than your typical chic flick. It's hilarious. It's vulgar. It's in your face funny.

In an attempt to boost ratings for their failing news show, Katherine Heigl's boss hires Gerard Butler to give his take on the Ugly Truth about relationships. Although Heigl is the news producer, her disgust over the outrageous addition is ignored by her boss. Bound and determined to run the guy off, she's surprised when Butler's form of blunt and to the point advice has ratings shooting through the roof.

Now his advice is helping her land her idea of the "perfect man" and Heigl begins to realize that Butler may actually be onto something. But is his off-the-wall perspective suddenly drawing her interest or is Heigl's idea of the "perfect man" changing?

I'll admit up front that The Ugly Truth is getting a few controversial reviews. One reviewer even commented on the FANS and their "lack of taste." My response is this - I didn't go to the film to be wowed by a literary performance. I went to be entertained by crude jokes and a sexy hero and that's exactly what I got (hence the R rating!!!). If you think that might interest you, then definitely take the time to see it. That's my 2 cents...

Reviewer: Tami Brothers
Ratings: 5 Petit Fours and 3 Hot Tamales (spicy)
Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Blog
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2013
How anyone could give this movie anything more than a one is beyond me. I don't go to movie theaters very often, but I love Gerald Butler and can tolerate Katherine Heigl (she and Teri Polo must have been separated at birth), which is why I went. What a waste of time and money! Every other word is the "F" word, the plot is your typical diluted one (just watch the Hallmark movies being shown now on TV if you need an example), and the acting very substandard for these actors, especially Butler. Of course, they can only do what the script and director call for and I guess everyone needs a paycheck, right? What a shame. So, unless you like sleeze or have nothing else better to do with your time or money, don't watch it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2009
It's funny and pleasant to see with family or compagnon... Good actors... For all time...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2009
It's been a long time since I've seen a romantic comedy that didn't make me feel like I'd just taken a swim in a pool full of maple syrup. I can't stand movies that make me feel like I just watched the same sugary, sappy crap that I've seen before...but with different names given to the characters. But with this one I felt like the people were *gasp* thinking and actually feeling. Sure, there are some semi-stupid, slap-stick moments that I could have doen without, but on the whole I was pleased.

And Gerard Butler is unforgivingly hot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2010
I am a true GB fan. I will watch him in nearly anything. This script was written by women, and it expresses a cynical attitude about men, which has some basis in truth! Men cannot help their sexual view of the world, it is hard wired! Love them anyway most of the time. This one is about two very different people, a man who has been unlucky in love, and a woman who is very controlling, and still trying to find the perfect man. GB's character is eventually attracted to her, but thinks she is out of his league. You slowly learn GB's raffish character is a pretty nice guy, underneath it all, and not as sure of himself as you might think.

The dance scene is worth the price of admission, and GB actually took dance lessons to do it right although Heigl did not.

They were unable to come up with a satisfactory ending, and filmed two. I did not like either one though. One is a wedding, which was never shown, and one is a sex scene, in a dark room, not too satisfactory either. GB is a very good actor, would like to see him in a better vehicle.

There is a ten minute gag reel of outtakes available online, but if you are easily offended, don't Watch!

A couple of amusing short scenes, such as when GB takes Heigl to the dress shop; watch the red headed sales lady closely. Good actress, who is amusing without trying hard. Love those tight shirts on him though!
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2010
I've seen both Katherine Heigle and Gerard Butler in movies I very much enjoyed. The previews made it clear that this was a male chauvinist pig meets woman movie, so I was expecting sparks and growth from two fun characters who smooth each other's rough edges.

It turned out that the most truthful thing in the advertising for this movie was the word "Ugly" in the title. This is a very ugly movie. The male chauvinist pig schtick was taken far further than I've ever seen it taken before. (Except maybe in caveman movies.) Katherine Heigle's character was ugly too, in her own inability to see men as anything other than some sort of object to be captured and owned, somewhat like her cat. But as the movie went on, she became uglier by taking on the excessive crudity of Gerard's character without really growing away from the ugliness in her own. And by excessive crudity, I mean full on foul-mouthed swearing, ugly words used to describe sexual organs, and crass descriptions of sexual activity.

This movie bore as much resemblance to the truth about love and romance as a chain saw resembles a knife used to prepare a gourmet dinner. It has absolutely no respect for relationships between men and women, ripping and tearing the truth into shreds of rancid meat without even a pretense of precision.

While it's true that men do notice a woman's looks, and some men never get past that stage, that's about all this movie really gets right. It's as if the writers glanced at a fine painting--let's say the Mona Lisa--and described it as a drawing of a girl, never recognizing the true beauty in a good relationship between a man and woman except as a strange feeling in the back of their minds.

It's ironic that of the three movies I rented at the same time--The Ugly Truth, Zombieland, and Inglorious Basterds--this one turned out to be the most crude and ugly of the three, when it should have been the best.
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