Monday, February 1, 2010

Home Video: The Ugly Truth

The Ugly Truth
Directed by Robert Luketic
Released July 24, 2009

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how awful a film is. But with a title that has the word “ugly” plastered right out on its cover, it’s not that much of a surprise. Jokes are often made about a title standing in for the nature of a movie, and that’s never been truer here. The ugly truth, as it turns out, is that it’s possible to make a horribly unfunny, awkward, uninteresting, and altogether boring romantic comedy with two leads who have both demonstrated in the past that they have possess the abilities to act decently but seem to have lost any shred of talent in their loose preparation for their roles in this film. But perhaps that’s being too kind, and more severe judgment must be passed on this failure of a film.

Don’t be fooled by the clever teaser poster for “The Ugly Truth,” which showed twin silhouettes of a man and a woman with a heart displayed on the woman’s head and the man’s genital region. Because the truth about men and women and their nature is apparently so obvious, the film goes to extra lengths to prove that reality, creating pointless and inane situations to demonstrate just how true it is. What’s even more shameful is that it isn’t even hidden – the man (Gerard Butler) errs his viewpoints on a live television talk show, and the woman (Katherine Heigl) challenges his chauvinistic sentiments by shouting her doubts right in his face.

Where “The Ugly Truth” fails in the most astonishing way is its inability to conjure up a single funny line. The subject matter, however prickly and tread-over, is certainly ripe for some crude humor, but this film can’t find any of that. Worse still, it’s hopelessly subdued and seemingly censored for its first half, and once it finally takes the plunge into lewd territory, it doesn’t look back, but it also doesn’t get any funnier. Underneath the attempts at crafting a disdainfully inappropriate and unreserved R-rated comedy is a devastatingly familiar, dumbed-down romantic comedy that doesn’t contain anything remotely fresh or fun. The sheer amount of talent wasted in this project – Butler, Heigl, and supporting actors like Cheryl Hines, John Michael Higgins, and Bonnie Somerville – is especially regrettable, but hey, that’s the ugly truth. This movie certainly drives that adage home.


1 comment:

Kel said...

The movie wasn't great but it certainly was nowhere near as bad as you make out. It was an average rom com - but the presence of the lovely and talented Heigl at least makes it worth seeing.