Directed by: Robert Luketic
Premise: A crude talk show host (Gerard Butler) is brought on board of a respectable midday newscast and comes into conflict with his politically correct producer (Katherine Heigl). Conflict turns into attraction and their love complicates their work.
What Works: The first two acts of The Ugly Truth are very entertaining and even flash moments of originality amid the familiar story beats. The film has a lot of terrific talent in the cast, both in the lead and the supporting roles, and they double the laughs in the film. Gerard Butler gets to showcase his comedic talents and does a great job with the witty dialogue. Also impressive, but in a much smaller role, is Bree Turner as the assistant to the producer played by Katherine Heigl. Turner has an impressive sense of comic timing and delivery and she elevates what might otherwise be an empty role. In the first half of the film the sexual humor and the statements about male and female relations have a sense of audacity and political incorrectness that makes the film a lot of fun to watch.
What Doesn’t: The Ugly Truth is very much a typical romantic comedy, following a boilerplate storyline at all times and anyone who has seen films like Pretty Woman, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or The Proposal will likely figure out the plot of the entire film in the first fifteen minutes. Although it is able to distract from its predictability with some very strong performances and a sharp wit, The Ugly Truth loses a lot of its charm in the third act of the story as it ditches the naughtiness that made the first two acts so much fun.
Bottom Line: The Ugly Truth is at its core a standard romantic comedy and it never deviates too far from the formula. Being what it is, the film is very funny and makes for a decent date movie.
Episode: #249 (August 2, 2009)