At The Movies 07.31.09
This is Ron
Salfen, “At the Movies,” and here’s my
commentary on a film starting today at The Majestic
“The Ugly Truth” is the name of Mike’s
program, the new shock-jock on local television.
Supposedly, he’s a man’s man talking to men
about how their baser instincts really are their true
selves, much to the disgust of Abby (Katherine Heigl),
his program director who has to put up with him
because the station needs the ratings.
She inexplicably heeds his advice about her own
dating habits, since her “checklist method”
hasn’t seemed to land the perfect man yet.
Colin (Eric Winter) seems to have all the
qualifications---but he’s been falling for the
version of her that is coached by the Neanderthal man.
Is it possible to have a romantic comedy with
there’s a risk.
The classic “chick flick” audience may not
appreciate the objectifying of women, nor the crude
jokes at their expense.
But the testosterone guys, after some raucous
laughter at the ribald humor, will soon realize that
the plot is still your basic “rom-com” scenario:
boy meets girl, they can’t stand each other,
they reluctantly develop some appreciation for one
another, then they seem compelled to each other by
some invisible attraction that allows them to ignore
all the faults previously observed.
Katherine Heigl (of “Gray’s Anatomy”
fame) belies her clean-scrubbed image with some
potty-mouth and sexual innuendo antics (wearing
vibrating panties with a remote control button?).
Gerard Butler tries to unleash his adolescent
id while realizing that the classy woman in front of
him neither wants an uncouth gorilla nor a sweet
pretty boy. But
she would like to feel some passion and excitement in
her repressed, button-down world.
This movie is awkward in many places, and not
just because the subject material is edgy for mixed
company. (Lots of sexual slang words thrown about as
if part of normal daily conversation between men and
women who work together on a daily basis----as if the
concept of “sexual harassment” did not exist.)
It feels contrived---from the obvious talk-show
sets to the blue-screen hot-air balloon moment.
The blue humor is sometimes forced, and
The two leads, Heigl and
, don’t seem to have much chemistry, nor, for that
matter, do Heigl and Winter.
But there is a kind of scatological
lightheartedness that can be funny in places, as long
as you’re sitting in the company of people who could
relax and laugh with you.
Not recommended for your grandmother, or a
first date, or children of any age (though it’s
supposed to be cute when a 14-year-old boy, Mike’s
nephew, happens to overhear prurient words that were
not intended for his ears).
“The Ugly Truth” follows a recent trend of
R-rated comedies that talk a lot about sex, but
contain little or no nudity.
As if sexuality is mostly between the ears.
This is Ron
Salfen, “At the Movies,” for 93-5 KICK-FM