5-Word 365 #026 – The Ugly Truth

There is nothing like a good romantic comedy. And this is nothing like a good romantic comedy.

The Ugly Truth

Butler still can’t do accents.

I like romantic comedies. There, I said it. It’s true though. I think people who cut entire genres such as this out of their viewing habits are only limiting themselves. A well-made (i.e. both funny and romantic) example can be a joy to behold, leaving you in a happy warm place and blotting out all that is wrong in the world for 90 minutes or so. When Harry Met Sally and Love, Actually remain among my all-time favourite movies*. The Ugly Truth, however, will not be making that list.

Katherine Heigl plays Abby, the producer on one of those morning TV news/magazine shows that America does so well, like GMTV but with brighter teeth. One night she’s sitting at home when her cat steps on the TV remote and switches over to Gerard Butler’s public-access show: The Ugly Truth. It’s a call-in show and of course she calls in, and of course they fight. The next day she comes in to work to find a new guy on the show. Guess who? They fight a bit more, he helps her change everything about herself in order to get a boyfriend, then they fall in love and live happily ever after. Sorry if I’ve spoiled that for you.

Before I go into what doesn’t work about this, let’s look at what does: Katherine Heigl is hot. Bree Turner is sweet and charming as her Associate Producer. (By the way, if her character wasn’t referred to as such in the script I would have assumed she was just an assistant or something. If anyone reads this who actually knows about these things, can you tell me is that really how it is? It doesn’t make any difference to my feelings about the film; I’m just curious.) Anyone who watches Justified knows what a legend Nick Searcy is, and anyone who doesn’t watch Justified needs to start doing so.

They look good, but they're really quite annoying.

So what doesn’t quite do it for me? Gerry Butler’s California accent. Oh dear. Why can’t they just rewrite all his roles to make him Scottish? It worked for Shir Shean. Then there’s the script. Comedies are supposed to be funny. This did raise a titter once or twice, but mostly just groans. And the swearing! Oh lordy. I have no objection to foul language frequently and often, but when it’s just done for effect, it’s out of place and awkward. I get the feeling someone saw The Hangover and decided to stuff this full of fucks and cocks in the hope of riding some R-rated coattails. And as hot as Katherine Heigl is, her character Abby is not particularly likable. She starts off obsessively weird, suddenly starts following every instruction given to her by a man she doesn’t even like just to get some other guy to like her, then falls for the first guy for no clear reason other than the fact he’s played by Gerry Butler.

Unless you want to see Katherine Heigl being brought to orgasm by a ten year old with a remote control, avoid.

 *It is a very long list though.