I loathe Katherine Heigl. No, I don’t know the lady, and she might actually be a pleasant person (which I doubt), but ever since she started talking about how sexist the dialogue was in Knocked Up she lost all credibility. Then, she makes a film like The Ugly Truth, which is actually more crass, more vulgar, and terrible to boot, and I haven’t heard her make a peep about it.
But, I always put personal feelings about celebrities aside, and if they can make good films I give them a pass. After all, my personal opinion about celebrities matters not at all. But make no mistake about it, this movie is awful. Not that I expected anything special, but I thought that maybe I would get a few laughs out of a junky romantic comedy, but there aren’t any to be found in this pile of mess.
The movie’s premise is paper thin to begin with. Heigl plays a Sacramento TV producer who is a control freak and has trouble with men. Big surprise. On the quest for bigger ratings, she sells out after her co-worker Mike (Gerard Butler) begins his segment “The Ugly Truth” on the newscast each night. Of course, Mike brings the much sought after ratings, and Abby slowly begins to accept that Mike is her meal ticket.
Now, the plot in itself isn’t god awful. It’s a nice little romantic comedy premise, but it’s executed piss poorly. Not only are NO characters developed beyond a superficial level, but we’re left with pretty shitty performances of shitty characters. Heigl plays virtually the same from Knocked Up, just more neurotic and FAR more annoying and generic. Heigl, in that film, with great material, worked well and delivered a nice performance. Here, with a script that is absolutely dreadful, she shows no signs of life.
Along with her, we have Gerard Butler, who it seems has been in one out of every three movies that has come out this year. I think he’s generally a pretty charming guy for the most part, and his turn in 300 was intense and awesome, but I have never seen anything else where he does anything remotely decent in terms of acting. Here, he uses an absolutely dreadful American accent, and it’s very distracting at some points. It’s almost like he has a speech impediment. He talks out of the side of his mouth, and mumbles along with other guttural sounds. I don’t know if he’s exhausted from doing so many junk movies or what, but he should stick to films where he doesn’t have to use an American accent.
The worst part of this movie is that it goes nowhere, also while having things happen so abruptly that the audience never really gets a chance to digest anything that is going on. Most of the goings-on are just so sudden that they don’t seem to matter. At no point is the relationship between Abby and Mike developed that I could genuinely believe that they could fall for each other. Opposites attract movies can work well, but here it’s done so sloppy it’s unbelievable.
Actually, NONE of the relationships within the movie seem genuine. Mike and his nephew seems trite and cliche, just slapping us in the face that Mike isn’t a father figure, but he can be a cool, hip uncle. Abby’s relationship with the doctor is likewise tragically rushed and very underdeveloped. I mean, by the end of things, why would anyone care who ends up together?
If you like your movies terrible, give this a rent. It has so many awful ingredients, it’s amazing this thing got made in the first place. Characters are unlikeable, things happen suddenly and with no explanation, and the dialogue is horrific. The lone bright spots are Cheryl Hines and John Michael Higgins as the married anchors of the network, but even their shtick gets long in the tooth before too long. So, this is a movie with NO redeeming qualities. It’s a romantic comedy with no real romance OR comedy. And that’s the ugly truth.
Score: 2.0/10 (Awful)