The Ugly Truth


HERE’S THE ugly truth. This is the sort of film that you’d punch in the face if you met it in the street. If you had friends in the shadier end of the waste-removal business, you’d have it driven to a remote location and buried in a shallow grave.

What we have here is the latest defilement of the class of romantic comedy in which Doris Day and Rock Hudson once excelled. You remember how it goes. She’s a blonde, somewhat uptight career woman. He’s a misogynist boor who views romance as a particularly savage blood sport. They come into violent conflict and, after the smoke has cleared the battlefield, fall lustily into one another’s arms.

Robert Luketic, director of such garbage as Legally Blondeand Monster-in-Law,seems eager to reverse the social advances made since Ms Day’s comedies cheered the New Frontier. Remember how Doris’s character always seemed reasonably content without a man in her life? In contrast, The Ugly Truthfinds Katherine Heigl’s hyper- organised news producer rendered hollow and worthless by her own inability to secure a boyfriend.

Indeed, she feels so debilitated that, betraying all her better instincts, she allows her show’s resident sexist oaf to provide dating advice. This barely literate orangutan is played by Gerard Butler, and he brings the same subtlety to the mating game that he brought to the evisceration of Persians in 300.Men only like burping and humping. No skirt is too short. Eat a hotdog as if you are . . . Well, you get the drift.

This time round, Luketic, having seen the odd Judd Apatow flick, makes a bizarre attempt to shoehorn copious blue language into a script that otherwise would play perfectly well to (really stupid) adolescents. Still, the resultant 16 cert will save younger teenagers the trauma of sitting through some of the doziest acting, clunkiest jokes and most predictable plot turns of the season.

Robert Luketic? Robert Puketic, more like. Do you get it? Ha, ha! Hey, I’m funny enough to write a Robert Luketic film.

Directed by Robert Luketic. Starring Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler 16 cert, gen release, 96 min