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Review of The Ugly Truth Starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler

The Ugly Truth: A Misogynistic Mess

When reviewing The Ugly Truth, it's impossible to ignore what Katherine Heigl had to say in 2007 about her film Knocked Up:

"It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a b*tch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie."

For a very similar reason, it was hard for me to love The Ugly Truth.

The ugly truth about The Ugly Truth is that it's, well, ugly. At its core, the film is a love story that tries to prove that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. What it actually succeeds at is much more sleazy, belaboring the point that men only want sex (read: women who eat hot dogs seductively) and women only want love (read: men who drink red wine and prefer cats to dogs). You don't have to be Katherine Heigl to find these stereotypes offensive.

To dig a little deeper,


These types of movies aren't always bad. When Harry Met Sally became a modern classic with its examination of differences between the sexes. But that movie does so smartly — it's more subtle, more nuanced, more quaint. And while When Harry Met Sally has its fair share of risqué content (who could forget the infamous deli scene?), it's tame compared to what we see in The Ugly Truth. Case in point: this scene. It's almost a carbon copy of the notorious Meg Ryan performance, except this time the leading lady is actually climaxing at a table because her vibrating underwear is being controlled by a child with a remote. Classy.

Beyond being offensive, the movie is just boringly predictable. If you've seen the trailer, you've likely figured out the entire plot. Not to mention which, that two-minute clip is actually better than the film! The acting isn't the problem here: Heigl and Gerard Butler are great in their roles, as are many of the supporting characters. The two leads carry the film easily — it's just not a film worth carrying. Frankly, they should have known better.

I can't wait to see what Katherine Heigl has to say about this in the future.

Photos courtesy of Sony Pictures

AlphaChickee AlphaChickee 8 years
I actually liked this movie and recommended it to some people. Yeah, it's a little hypocritical for Katie Heigl to play that role, but let's not forget when she was in 27 Dresses and said she was sorta excited to be in a rom-com. Also, I think the movie takes it to the extremes for the sake of the entertainment. The movie is called "The Ugly Truth" for a reason...OF COURSE it's going to belabor the men-want-sex/women-want-love and get a little offensive. If it hadn't, the movie would've been called "The Same Damn Rom-Com You've Seen Fifty Times Before."
redchick152 redchick152 8 years
i haven't seen it yet, but i'm assuming it will be typical Katherine Heigel my hopes are not that high. i can't wait to hear all of her complaints about this role too....that's all she seems to do is complain, complain, complain....
jhilly123 jhilly123 8 years
Saw it opening day, and was a bit disappointed. I had high hopes, since the trailer looked cute, but I wouldn't say it was terrible because some parts were funny.
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
It wasn't the greatest movie ever but was entertaining and provided me with some laughs.
Grantz Grantz 8 years
Katherine Heigl used her own money to help make this movie. Shes listed as an executive producer. I think the film is being misunderstood, by some. The female lead is depicted as a nice girl who hasnt even had intimate relations for almost a year. And women are portrayed as being much smarter than men. Which is probably true, overall in real life. The male lead is a radio shock joc, who uses his show to mask the true nature of his heart. Which is exposed deeply by Heigl. From a producers point of view, this movie is more of exposing how simple and rudimentary men are compared to women. Its not award material at all. Obviously, but it is entertaining, and like Choco cat, I personally think the film is worth a matinee price. Its funny. Cheers~ Grantz
Choco-cat Choco-cat 8 years
i just saw this movie and i found it entertaining. yes, it plays on the tired gender stereotypes, but you'd be hard pressed to find a big movie that doesn't. it is definitely raunchy, but i actually thought a lot of the raunchiness was funny. i actually hadn't seen a single preview for this movie, i just knew it was a romantic comedy and i think that made it more enjoyable because i hadn't already seen the funny scenes. it's not a movie i would tell people to run out and see, but it was enjoyable - possibly go during a cheaper ticket time or renter.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Ouch! And I was looking forward to seeing this
Sarana Sarana 8 years
I don't know, rom coms for me don't have to be perfect and I don't mind that there are gender stereotypes in them. They are just movies you watch when you don't feel like thinking.
reesiecup reesiecup 8 years
jessy777, you make a good point. For someone who seems to appreciate only Emmy-worthy material from writers, one would assume that she would realize that films like these aren't in that same realm. From the trailer alone, I got a feel of WHMS or Someone Like You. Doesn't sound very original, anyway. I can't wait to watch Funny at least appears entertaining.
RachLA RachLA 8 years
Thank you Buzz! I thought the same thing about the trailers... I'm part of the target audience for this kind of movie but it just seems so sexist and contrived. Interesting that Heigl could be offended by this kind of film, yet not be offended by taking home a paycheck for it...
lemuse20 lemuse20 8 years
That's too bad, I really like Gerard Butler. At least I know now that I will NOT be seeing this with my mother, thanks for the review Buzz!
spicyaroma spicyaroma 8 years
I've seen the trailer several times and it looks painful.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
eh, it does not surprise me. She is hypocritical.
supertramp supertramp 8 years
Didn't have to see it to know it was sexist. Katherine Heigl is a hypocrite. Knocked Up has never seemed sexist to me and for her to do a movie like this just shows she is ignorant.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Exactly, Jessy ! If the script/ character bothers her so much she shouldn't take on the role. (-- and I don't liken that to a serious actor taking a darker role, i.e. rapist/ killer etc). I wasn't going to see this either - it SMACKS of unoriginality - but thanks anyhow Buzz ;) ... I wish a rom com would mix up the roles of women and men a bit more.
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
Thanks Buzz! Now I can go spend my hard earned shekels on 500 Days of Summer!
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
I thought the same thing. I find it contradictory and hypocritical to rip Knocked Up for being sexist and then make this movie. Or 27 Dresses. Basically, it seems she will do anything for a paycheck and then complain later. If you have principals, great speak about them. Shed light on a serious issues of misogyny in entertainment but do as you say and I might respect you more.
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 8 years
I saw the trailer last week and Katherine's comments about "Knocked Up" immediately came to mind. I hadn't planned on watching this movie but thanks for the review anyway Buzz ;)
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