"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.
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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