Warning! This site contains satire, cynical adult humor, celebrity gossip, and an occasional peanut by-product or two!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ugly Truth (The)

Here’s The Ugly Truth: I wrote a whole piece about the movie with the same name when it first opened more than a week ago, and then, for no good reason, I just didn’t post it here. I don’t know why. Nobody died (well, unless you count Ianto Jones from "Torchwood: Children of Earth", which you probably don’t, but I do. That sent me into mourning for days!), and as far as I know we haven’t gone to war with any new countries (but the day is young), so I’ve no great excuses other than life interfered. After writing about nearly 500 movies in the course of less than four years I’m losing my mojo. They’re all beginning to blur into one. Whether they are about talking guinea pigs (G-Force) or tacky gay boys (Bruno) I’m finding everything rather lackluster. Either that or I’ve just become too high in my expectation of what to expect from Hollywood. For instance:

Close your eyes and imagine you are a big-time Hollywood producer. A couple of lowly beasts (known to the rest of the world as “those damned writers!”) have finagled a bit of your time to take a meeting (you remind yourself to fire the Temp who let this happen even though she has the most perfect jugs you’ve seen since… well, yesterday. This is Hollywood, after all). The pitch isn’t half-bad. Take one of the stars of that hot drama “Grey’s Anatomy” and add hot, hot, hot Scotsman du jour Gerard Butler in a sex comedy without any actual sex. That’s right, no sex. Like the old Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies, except this one will be way dirtier with lots of swearing and talking about “what men reeeeaaaalllllly want and our Rock Hudson won’t secretly like to take it up Avenue Q. There will be lots of ‘f-bombs’ and it’ll be called The Ugly Truth because it will be ugly.” The writers wave their hands around like they are conjuring up visions of porn from thin air. “We’ll tell it like it is. When the woman starts to talk about her troubles our hero will point out the obvious ~ when women talk about their problems men lose focus entirely on what they are saying and start making a list of all her orifices that they want to f**k before the end of the day.” They all laugh and a movie is green-lighted just like that.

Okay, so it didn’t exactly happen quite like that, but it sure seems like the way you’d imagine movies being made today, a bunch of middle-aged guys, sitting around, scratching themselves and trying to think up as many ways as they can to deride women with their male biases. The Ugly Truth is exactly as I just described, full of crotch jokes and swearing. That’s not to say it isn’t funny as hell, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. The really surprising thing about The Ugly Truth is that this no-holds-barred comedy doesn’t come from the minds of those like I’ve described but from three women: first time writer Nicole Eastman
, and long-time partnersKaren McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith (The House Bunny). This trio has sculpted a raucous tale about a longtime television producer Abby (Katherine Heigl; “Grey’s Anatomy”) and her struggle to cope with her station manager Stuart’s (Nick Searcy; tv’s “Rodney”) decision to hire a foul-mouthed woman-baiting chauvinist named Mike (Gerard Butler; Nim's Island) as a part of the existing morning chat show team to boost their otherwise lagging ratings.

Battling husband and wife co-hosts Georgia (Cheryl Hines; tv’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Larry
(John Michael Higgins; Fired Up) are at first resentful of this new addition but when he calls them out on live tv about their sex problems as a couple and then happily reignites the flame their ratings go through the roof and Georgia and Larry become converts to The Ugly Truth. It takes more than that for Abby, and it isn’t until Mike offers to quit if he can’t get the guy she’s just met to fall head over heels for her that she agrees to even speak to him outside of work. Mike says he knows exactly what every man wants from a woman and if Abby agrees to follow his guidelines he will have this guy, Colin (Eric Winter; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay), eating out of her hands in no time. It’s his “rules” that make for a major portion of the laughs in the movie as Mike does such things as take Abby bra shopping because “[her] girls aren’t saying ‘put me in your mouth’ so much as saying ‘we’re casual, we’re comfortable, we’re relaxing.’” Personally, I think it would have been much funnier if the movie starred that other “Grey’s Anatomy” cutie pie T.R. Knight in Heigel’s role. I’d love to see Butler slapping T.R. on the ass and telling him how to erotically eat a hot dog to turn on his fellow, but I’m a complete perv. Actually, the whole movie would probably have been twice as funny as a gay comedy and they would have barely needed to change any of the dialogue. Substitute a bra for a jock in a couple of references and they’d have had a classic. Even as is, The Ugly Truth is an enjoyable enough laugh-fest.

The plot does drift into predictable territory ~ does anybody NOT think that these two completely opposites are going to end up together before all is said and done? ~ yet it is the journey to the inevitable that is most satisfying. That’s the one flaw the movie has for me. There really is no ‘ending’ ending, and maybe that’s why I’ve had such a tough time getting this online. It’s hard to write an ending to a review when there’s no ending to the movie. And that’s
The Ugly Truth.

No comments: