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Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Little Late Film Review: The Ugly Truth (2009)

Where do I even began?  While watching this movie, I was like, “Wow!”  This movie is simply amazing; and not in a good way.  The Ugly Truth may be the worst modern romantic comedy of them all, and boy is that saying something.  If you recall, I recently reviewed the Bounty Hunter.  That movie is an insane mess.  So believe me when I say, the Ugly Truth is worse.  WORSE!

The idiotic plot centers on Abby (Katherine Heigl), a feminist control freak who produces a network talk show.  Her stupid show is on the verge of failing (of COURSE it is!!!), so the show’s owners take drastic measures to keep it on the air (of COURSE they do!!!).  Their solution is to suddenly hire a chauvinist television show host without telling the show’s producer (It just happens to be the very same host she called into and thought she told off on national television the very night before.  Isn‘t life full of funny little coincidences?).  Mike is meant to be the show’s savior and he also turns out to be Abby’s as well as he begins to offer her advice on men and even on her own sexual liberation.  So there’s a lot of “yadda, yadda” followed by even more “blah, blah, blah” and, WHO KNEW!  The two romantic leads on the poster together fall in love.

The problem is this movie thinks itself to be a raunchy, fowl-mouthed sex comedy told from a woman’s perspective.  Why is that a problem?  Because this perspective tells us that all women have the right to sexual liberation and all men have a right to watch you if you let them.  When the men in this film aren’t bumbling idiots they are disgusting pigs, while the women (with the exception of the lead) are more level-headed and intelligent.  The feminism in this film is so blatant, the misandry so screeching, the acrimony so vile that throughout the film, I wanted to punch my television screen. 

When you’re trying to be a comedy about sexual liberation, you shouldn’t really make sex the punch line.  The setup, maybe, but this film makes the same mistakes that Porky’s did about thirty years ago.  It objectifies the opposite sex and gives their only voices to detestable, usually less attractive, morons.  In the Ugly Truth, the source of contention is Abby’s repulsion of Mike’s amazingly inappropriate language; language so grotesque that if anyone in the real world spoke to their boss like this, they would not only be fired, but would likely end up in court.  The film is supposed to arouse giggles amongst the female audience members because popular stars are actually saying the things they are saying on screen.  It’s the cinematic equivalent of a creepy teacher trying to connect to his/her students by saying or doing something outrageous. 

With all of the film’s unfunny sex gags, and they are plentiful, what’s worse are the performances by the leads.  I can confidently say that Katherine Heigl is one of the worst actresses working today.  Her inflections are off in every sentence.  She emphasizes every other word and shrieks and barks at her onscreen counterparts like a harpy with hiccups.  She perplexedly widens her eyes and jerks her head about, you know, because she’s silly.  She flails her arms and overacts in every single scene.  Heigl’s acting aside, her character, Abby, is a bossy, obnoxious, aggravating wretch filled with “quirks” that make her an unlikable mess.  So is Butler’s Mike any better?

Nope.  The male lead may actually be worse!  Gerard Butler is an exceptionally boring on-screen presence.  His droll Scotish accent mixed with his snarky demeanor makes him very unpleasant to watch.  In the Ugly Truth, his character is a disgusting pig who is not only unlikable but he is utterly abhorrent.  Every comment he makes throughout the film that is meant to be gross but funny is offensive and off-putting.  I found myself cringing and uncomfortable by the dialogue in the movie and I was watching it by myself.  It’s not just filthy, it’s downright pornographic; and Mike’s objectification of the opposite gender is actually meant to make him an example of men as a whole, something I found to be utterly invidious. 

I really don’t even have to get into any examples of the unscrupulous sex gags in this film.  That thought that just popped in your head: yeah, it’s in there.  The Ugly Truth is a disgusting, unpleasant film that not only hates men, but it apparently thinks women are stupid because this movie tries to trap its audience into thinking it’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone.  It isn’t.  It’s really about plot contrivances, mean and unlikable characters, unfunny and disgusting jokes and really, really, really bad acting.  Good job the Ugly Truth!  You’re officially the WORST FILM I’VE REVIEWED ON THIS BLOG SO FAR!

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