The Ugly Truth – Movie Review


Ugly Truth


The Ugly Truth

 It seems fitting that I’d mention this movie since a major part of this Blog is about dating and male/female interactions.  An acquaintance of mine highly recommended the movie and assured me that it wasn’t just another “Chick Flick.”  Taking into account that he is one of those macho ex-military dudes, I decide to go see it last night with a female friend of mine.

 It did not disappoint.  It’s an overall fun comedy based around the main two characters: Abby played by Katherine Heigl, and Mike, played by Gerard Butler.  Though you can make a case that characters are somewhat typical, it still makes the film no less entertaining.  Abby is a hot slim blonde career women/control freak and Mike is a free willing, have a good time, easy going type of dude compounded by the fact that he is a bit of a male chauvinist. 

 You could say the plot is somewhat reminiscent of “When Harry Met Sally”, but what this makes movie a bit different is that Gerard Butler’s character, Mike, is inherently more likeable than Billy Crystals’ could ever hope to be.  Sure, he is a bit chauvinist (or a lot), he is crass, and blunt, but you can’t help but like the guy, because at the end of the day, he is having fun with you, not at your expense. That the movie dares to push boundaries a bit and say things we’d normally only THINK (but not blurt out) is what really gives it a bit of an edge.

 Mike giving Abby pointer on how to dress a little sexier, and learn to flirt better are not necessarily politically correct but they’re part of the ugly truth the movie proclaims to deliver.  The most memorable line for me was Mike’s response to Abby regarding her wardrobe.

Abby: What’s wrong with my wardrobe?  It’s nice, and it’s efficient.
 Mike: It is efficient.   Problem is, no one wants to fuck it! 

 Half way through the film, I speculated that it was definitely written by a woman.  I was wrong.  It was written by 3 women.  The movie does also portray Mike to be a chauvinist due to the fact that he’s been hurt in poor relationships before.  This may be cliché but there are elements of truth to that fact.  Like a good buddy of mine, a major player who’d slept with 100s of women, used to say, “Usually behind every player/bad boy, is a guy who had his heart ripped from him at some point, or suffered through one terrible relationship. They may not admit it, but it’s there.”

 This movie does touch upon that, but its message is actually beneficial.  While critics may cry of sexism and chauvinism, the female screenwriters got it right.  The Abby character is too controlling and that is a turn off to men.  The Mike Character is a player but not a bad guy, and there are things to be learned from him.

 If you’re a guy who is looking at receiving Dating Advice, what can you learn from the Mike character?

  • Social Intelligence.  It’s one of those things, I often discuss, but Gerard Butler’s character, Mike, does intuitively understand what archetype he is dealing with.  He likes pushing boundaries but has the social wherewithal to know when to stop short of making an ass out of himself.
  • Being comfortable with oneself, and being genuine:  While people’s level of charisma will vary, the ability to be comfortable with oneself and a sense of authenticity will always be appealing.  
  • Being Fun and not taking oneself too seriously.  You could break this down into more depth but really, if you can have fun with someone, you are off to a great start.  Ability to have fun is a great barometer to gauge the start of any relationship.

 Is the movie predictable?  Absolutely.  Most movies are.  You seriously don’t go to see Die Hard to see John McClain get killed, do ya?  Most of us with a minimal amount of sanity wouldn’t go on a roller coaster either if someone told us that it was going to fly off the tracks and splatter into a wall.  We know it’s going to end up OK, and yet we enjoy the ride.  Nevertheless, a quick search on Google will show that critics killed the film, one calling it the worst film of the summer.

 This film is a good ride, though you know what’s going to occur at the end, and even if the love-connection is a bit lackluster, you’ll still have a good time.  The movie doesn’t really show us why these two would ever fall for each other, and how in the world would a relationship between these two vastly different personalities last past 6 months.  It doesn’t matter.  Comedies are meant to be around 90 minutes and they don’t always have to time to give a glorious culmination, so the filmmakers are sometimes forced by the studio to have to wrap it up quickly.  This film wraps up quickly as well, but it doesn’t detract from its entertainment value. (Unless you’re a professional critic.)

Enjoy and comment after seeing….