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Review: The Ugly Truth

If one were asked to name some of the things present-day Hollywood cinema has not been able to achieve, a sparkling romantic comedy would probably figure on top of the list. New ideas, situations or flourishes seldom surface nowadays, writes Rashid Irani.

movie reviews Updated: Sep 12, 2009 16:33 IST
Rashid Irani

The Ugly Truth
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler
Direction: Robert Luketic
Rating: ** & 1/2

If one were asked to name some of the things present-day Hollywood cinema has not been able to achieve, a sparkling romantic comedy would probably figure on top of the list. New ideas, situations or flourishes seldom surface nowadays.

Mistaking double entendres for wit and glibness for depth, this chick-flick desperately strives to put a spin on the familiar battle-of-the sexes premise. The two professional rivals here are a high-strung TV producer (Heigl) and a special correspondent (Butler) hired to stem the ratings downslide.

A self- proclaimed expert on what men really want, the chauvinistic new recruit even offers to help the boss lady snag her handsome new neighbour. You don’t need a crystal ball to foresee where Cupid is really aiming his arrow.

The script, co-authored by three women, no less, is littered with raunchy dialogue, risible humour and smutty situations. The direction by Luketic (Legally Blonde) is strictly serviceable. On the whole, The Ugly Truth lacks the snap and sparkle of the vintage Rock Hudson-Doris Day comedies, not to mention the more recent crowd-pleasers like When Harry Met Sally… (1989).

It’s left to Katherine Heigl to generate some stray pleasant moments such as the uninhibited dance with her know-it-all colleague. Thanks to her ebullience and sense of comic timing, this romantic truffle makes it to the see-grade.