Finally I can put that horrible night where my friends sat me on the couch and had a movie marathon featuring the likes of Adam Sandler and Channing Tatum. I can call it quits, finish the third movie of that night, and hopefully avoid the romantic comedy genre for some time. With that in mind, let’s talk about Gerard Butler. When it comes to this trifecta, Butler is the one that I am the most regretful for disliking his acting. Mainly because everything I have seen of the guy outside of his roles tells me that he is one hell of a nice guy. But I have just not been a fan of his acting in just about every movie that I have seen him in, an early example of this would be my review of Olympus Has Fallen. While I had seen many of Butler’s action films, I had seen very little to none of Butler’s romantic comedy movies. This was quickly changed when my friends insisted that I watched the Gerard Butler Katherine Heigel romantic comedy The Ugly Truth.
The movie is about Heigl’s character Abby Richter, which on a side note is the most rom com name I have heard in quite some time. She is a television producer for a local morning talk show in the Sacramento area and is a firm believer in the concepts of true love and several dating advice books (i.e. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus). After an appalling blind date, Abby accidentally turns the television on to a crude and cynical romantic advice talk show segment called The Ugly Truth and stars Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler). His over the top misogyny, crude humor, and clear signs that this is a guy who experienced a lot of rejection in his life is enough to prompt Abby to call the television show and tell off Mike for his behavior. This works out as well for Abby as you expect it to work. Then to add the cherry on top of the coincidental cake, the next day Abby is informed that her show might be cancelled due to failed rating and the owner has hired Mike to do his segments on the show; hilarity ensues.
Of course Abby and Mike share a rocky start, but soon begin to warm up to each other when Mike agrees to help Abby score a disposable love interest in a doctor named Colin Anderson (Eric Winter). We then get to watch as the rom com magic goes to work and the forces that be try to intertwine Abby and Mike’s lives as one.
Heigl and Butler Work Well Together
A huge saving grace of this movie is the fact that Heigl and Butler work so well together. They definitely have a strong chemistry on set and both of them seem to be truly enjoying themselves in their roles. Heigl gives off the impression of an over stressed person who just can’t seem to find the right relationship no matter how hard they try… And sometimes their excessive trying is the turn off to most people. She does give a strong performance as Richter and has a good comedic presence that I wasn’t expecting from her. The scene where they recreate the When Harry Met Sally orgasm in a public place scene is hilarious and most of her dry humor and interaction with Butler can got a lot of laughs out of me.
Butler I will say is also enjoyable in this movie. He has multiple layers to his character and you can see this guy existing in the real world, just minus the weird ‘manly man knows all’ relationship powers. He is clearly a person who has experienced heartache in the past from a particularly nasty break up. He is a cynic who has simplified relationships to how much of an ass can you be to the other. Butler does make you feel for this character and see there is more to him than just this thick outer shell of cynicism and self loathing. You can feel the chemistry between the two characters and can see how the two would be naturally attracted to each other for their own reasons.
The Movie Has a Charm to It
I’ll give the movie this, it does have a certain charm to it that I can get behind. That charm seems to be the classic rom com formula. There are a few things in the movie that can be a tad bit, offensive for different reasons. The rampant misogyny at the beginning displayed by Mike character was enough to make me role my eyes and say ‘Jesus do we have to deal with this machismo bullshit for the next two hours.’ But Butler is able to play it off without there being too many problems. But other then that it has that rom com feel. One overly stressed person meets and hardcore cynic and through the wacky movie world they live in they end up together.
Some Threads Were Left Dangling
The area this is more focused in comes from the Mike Chadway character, in particular his relationships with his family. It is clear that Mike has experienced some heartache in his life and this becomes all the more apparent by a scene that involves his young son (that we don’t see after this) and several instances where he references the fact of a love long gone. Also the whole TV Show seems to be one guy hate of relationships that snowballed into a TV Show. None of this is ever explored in much detail.
Mike’s kid does not appear again and is only their to establish that underneath this hard exterior is a father who can love. But after it establishes that, the kid is kicked to the curve so that Mike and Abby can have their romance. On the realms of the ex wife or at least mother of the kid, she is never scene. Which is fine, she doesn’t have to be in the movie. But the shoe never drops for the Mike character. There is no revelation or anything to hint that he has gotten over his ex and if he has not, then this whole Rom Com can be reduced to Abby just being Mike’s rebound. It may not be large and can be rationalized by any movie viewer but the vibes are still there.
Very Little Originality
As I have mentioned earlier, The Ugly Truth is your standard rinse and repeat romantic comedy. It follows the formula of a middle aged woman looking for love and finding a cynical asshole who changes his ways. Other then that, there is little new that The Ugly Truth brings to the table. Scenes like the dinner scene where Abby is wearing the vibrating panties is shades of the When Harry Met Sally scene. It is also comes complete with a disposable love interest who is a doctor, the third act break up, and the big romantic reunite at the end. Other then that, there just isn’t anything new to the table. It is a text book example of a rinse and repeat rom com.
The Ugly Truth is your standard romantic comedy. Some of the misogynistic jokes can be a tad offensive but other than that it is pretty tame. Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl are very charming in their roles and it is clear that they are having a lot of fun. It can get a few laughs but it isn’t a must see.
Final Score 2/5
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more from me. I’m tired of romances and romantic comedies. I’ll be back with a new review Sunday.