Ugly Truth, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Gerard Butler, Katherine Heigl. Written by Nicole Eastman, with rewrites by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kristen Smith. Directed by Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde).

FILM SYNOPSIS: She is a TV morning-show producer; he is a hit with a cynical segment that mocks the institute of marriage. They strike a deal in order to help her get a boyfriend and he get more cooperation from her at work. He makes her into a more charming, less controlling woman. But whatís this? Will he and she fall for each other during the process?

PREVIEW REVIEW: This battle of the sexes has a few humorous moments, but mostly itís just raunchy and familiar. Countless movies of recent cinema past depict men in the same unflattering and misogynistic light. The titles are hard to bring to mind as these films are instantly forgettable. But they usually star Matthew McConaughey, Jason Segel, or Seth Rogen. And while Ms. Heigl belittled Knocked Up (a film in which she costarred and gladly took the money), as being sexist, she repeats herself with countless films that seem to exalt bad behavior.

For some reason, producers keep employing Ms. Heigl for comedic roles. This mystifies me. Certainly, she is game, but has it been so long since we really had a Lucille Ball or Carol Lombard in the movies to compare comic abilities? Well, I guess that question answers itself. Make no mistake, there is a place for Ms. Heigl in movies. Because of her height and thick wrists, she would be perfect as Zena, the Warrior Princess. (Guess Iíve seen too many comedies lately. I didnít used to be sexist.)

While sensibilities change and todayís moviegoers resist the history of film, a viewing of the Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn romantic comedy Woman of the Year or the Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell screwball comedy His Girl Friday would remind both filmmakers and filmgoers of the not-so-ugly truth Ė comedies can be made without crudity and there was a time when wit and timing, not shock value, were the bases of movie humor. I know, Iím being an old fogy bringing up films made in the 1940s during this era when six weeks ago is unhip. But what are my recent choices to use as alternatives? 27 Dresses

Editors note (and Iím the editor): Iíve been a bit rough concerning Ms. Heiglís abilities. Let me be clear, she is a beautiful woman, with a strong screen presence, and Iím sure she has dramatic skills Ė sheís been at this since childhood. Itís just that today, great roles generally go to other actresses and we have yet to see her stretch as a performer. I believe, given the right role, Katherine Heigl will astound moviegoers. As will the makers of this film.

Phil Boatwright is the author of MOVIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE REALLY, REALLY BAD. For details on the book, go to the Preview home page.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Throughout

Obscene Language: Around 20 obscenities, mostly the s- and f-words.

Profanity: Godís name is profaned twice and Jesus name is misused once.

Violence: None

Sex: A great deal of sexual conversation, mainly from a crude perspective; a couple of sexual situations and several crude terms for masturbation and parts of the human body.

Nudity: A male bare bottom as his bath towel falls; the camera never met a body it didnít like to ogle.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Social drinking on several occasions.

Other: None

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.