Nothing like tap water to sway her opinion

1 10 2009
The Ugly Truth

Catch Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens and King Leonidas in an unconventional romantic comedy! The Ugly Truth stars Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. (Image is owned by the film producers)

 

THE DRY spell from seeing a movie with Spider-man – brought about by the Kimmy Dora debacle when a bedimpled smile fixed my way was euphemistic for a flat out, “No!” – has finally ended.  Spider-man, four other friends and I saw The Ugly Truth on its opening day.

Funny I should open with the allusion to a dry spell.  Because that was exactly what morning show TV producer Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) was going through on the screen.  Coming home from a disastrous arranged date one night – with a guy who has read The Great Gatsby twice – she stumbles upon “The Ugly Truth,” a show on public access TV hosted by the very cynical Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler).  Offended by Mike’s sneering disbelief at conventional views on relationships, and having to watch Mike set on fire self-help and how-to books she has clung on to that they occupy their rightful place on her nightstand, Abby called in on the show and practically told Mike to take a hike.

Nothing bites harder on the ass – her ass – than having to discover the very next morning that the network has hired Mike to do his segment on their morning show.  Faced by the threat of cancellation due to very poor ratings, she has to contend with having Mike on to bring them back up.

It was class vs. crass from this point on.  The uppity and control freak network producer Abby has to rein in the vulgar and disgusting Mike.  That was up until the opportunity to turn the tables in Mike’s favor presents itself.  Having found the “man of her dreams” – compliant to her “checklist” and met in a situation that literally caught the guy next door with his pants down – Abby took Mike up on his challenge to follow his lead and lure the guy – orthopedic surgeon Colin – into a relationship.  If she gets the man, she tries to make their professional relationship work.  If she doesn’t, he quits.

Mike’s “lead” turns out to be his set of relationship rules.  Rule #1 – Never criticize him.  Rule #2 – Laugh at whatever he says (even if it’s not funny).  In short, fake it if you have toRule #3 – Change your look.  Men are very visual.  Rule #4 – Never talk about your problems (to him).

The taskmaster Abby is now the one being reined in.  And as she struggles to contain her inner control freak (now in a better push-up bra), she finds herself in one hilarious situation after another.  Consider them bumps on the road to landing herself her own man.  Who does she end up with?  The ending is as predictable as can be.  The poster leaves nothing to the imagination.

The movie is heavy with zingy banter between Abby and Mike that I didn’t doze off.  That alone is testament to it having passed my standards.  But somehow something was amiss.  The lead characters’ chemistry was there.  The raunchy dialogue that accounted for its R-13 rating was there.  Even THAT dinner scene had to be there!

The Ugly Truth is a good enough movie for the laughs.  It’s sometimes absurd but nevertheless fun.  I for one don’t totally agree with Mike’s rules.  You shall see that as the movie unfolds, Abby realizes that the way to finding that relationship and making it work is making the guy fall in love with who you really are.  The movie starts with Abby’s heart in her head and Mike’s in his groins.  But both end up where they are supposed to be.

I have to give it to the producers of this film for giving us a movie where – finally – it’s the guy who’s dishing out the love rules.  Quite nice for a change.  But as I have said, I’m not totally sold to Mike’s rules.  Except perhaps for Rule #2 – don’t tell me you don’t agree.  Hahaha!

By the way, I have on my bookshelf one of the books Mike burned.  That gave me the biggest laugh in the 95-minute run time.  And oh, I have read The Great Gatsby too.  Twice?  That’ll be too much information.

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