182: The Ugly Truth

The Ugly Truth
(R) - 2009 - Runtime: 97 minutes
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler
Director: Robert Luketic

I'm not going to lie, I like a good romantic comedy. Sometimes they just hit the spot. I'm a fan of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and I really enjoyed The Proposal. So I actually was looking forward to another good rom-com (as the kids call it) because the trailer looked promising.

But what I wanted to see and what ended up in the theaters were two completely different movies. Don't be fooled by the R rating or Gerard Butler interviews, this movie is a by-the-book romantic comedy. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with this, as long as there's three important factors in the movie:

1. Good chemistry. A romantic comedy will fall flat if there's no sizzle between the two romantic leads and with the audience.
2. Comedy. If the jokes are few and far between or they fail to incite any chuckles, you end up feeling swindled.
3. Predictable. Don't try to "mix it up" or change the formula because it never works. You'll end up either pissing the audience off or confusing them.

Let's start with number one. Heigl and Butler play two polar opposites who end up having to work together on a daily talk show. Butler brings a high-energy, maniacal presence to his character: a womanizing, crude (although secretly he's a good guy who got burned too many times by too many women) public access star on the brink of humongous popularity. Heigl is the TV producer in charge of dealing with him. He's put to the test when he teaches Heigl how to snare in the right man by being a complete contradiction of who she really is. And for the most part, I believed they were falling for each other, but I wasn't completely convinced they ever shared a true connection in the movie. And to be quite honest, Heigl doesn't really make you want to fall in love with her, her character is quite the bitch.

On to number two. This movie has some funny moments, but there's very few of them. I don't think I laughed out loud more than a few times. And that's what bummed me out the most. I thought I really would laugh out loud a lot. There's just not a lot of jokes or funny situations. It's like the writers felt too rushed to move on to the next part of the chain of events that lead to the climactic "I love you" moment. Which leads me to number three.

This is what the film does right. It's predictable and you already know what's going to happen. Which is not bad, but since the chemistry isn't quite there and the jokes aren't funny, you end up watching a pretty boring romantic story that never quite makes you feel all fuzzy inside like any good romantic comedy should do.

It's too bad it ended up like this, because it is an R-rated movie and the only reason it's R is because of a couple of f-bombs and the word cock (in a sexual context). If the people involved would have thrown in some nudity or a steamy sex scene and more of Butler's character being crude (not the watered-down scenes that end up in the movie, either), this could have been well worth the money. If you're going to get an R from the MPAA, why not throw in as much crazy shit as you can? It would make it more entertaining and build some good buzz. Instead, the movie seems like a half-hearted attempt at reaching the elusize male-going audience.

Rating: Not Worth Paying For

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