Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler star in this misogynistic, battle of the sexes romantic comedy.
Sitting in a packed showing of The Ugly Truth, I wondered why Newsweek had recently demanded “Why is Katherine Heigl So Annoying?” Sure, she absurdly rejected her Emmy nomination and poo poo’d Knocked Up, the film that made her a star, but that doesn’t mean that the girl can’t act, right? In her latest foray into the romantic comedy genre, following the mild hit 27 Dresses, Heigl is once again cast as the focused, yet goofy leading lady, who also happens to be smoking hot.
The Ugly Truth director, rom-com powerhouse Rob Luketic (Legally Blonde, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, and Monster in Law) delivers on all things predictable in a film with Heigl: a gratuitous semi-nude scene, rambling monologue about how she is not a control freak, and the obligatory happy ending. Sure, you’ve seen this plotline before, but what The Ugly Truth does attempt, that few other romantic comedies do, is add a generous helping of the gross-out humor and raunchy one liners we were served up in Judd Apatow movies like Superbad and The 40-Year Old Virgin .
The film centers around archetypal “men are from Mars, woman are from Venus” shtick. Heigl plays an anally retentive local news producer, Abby, and Butler is the sexist horn-dog Mike, who throws her pristine newsroom out of whack with his “Ugly Truth” segment. In these segments, he gives sordid advice about what women need to do if they want to attract men. His advice segments include outrageous clips to illustrate his points, including one of two women wrestling in Jell-O. His advice echoes what we heard in He’s Just Not that Into You, only with more emphasis on how women should amp up the T&A to score a man.
After numerous rounds of a power struggle between Abby and Mike, he bets he can get Abby’s dream guy to go crazy for her, as long as she follows his advice. If he does, in fact, fall for Abby, she will agree to lay off the criticism on his news segment, and give him the credit he deserves.
The movie, while predictable, and at times awkwardly painful to watch, didn’t put this sleep-deprived reviewer to bed. That has to count for something right? And in our opinion, Katherine Heigl isn’t annoying — just slightly irritating.