The really ugly truth

August 15, 2009

UglyTruthPosterEveryone’s got it in for The Ugly Truth. I can’t think of a film in recent times that’s been so roundly bashed by the critics. I’ll stop and think for a moment… nope. Nothing. Not even Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. For a new film to be as hated as much as this one it would have to be called Kissing Hitler.

Yesterday, I had time to kill. Armed with my Unlimited cinema monthly pass I felt compelled to give it a go. It can’t be that bad. I like films. Even bad films. And the trailer made me laugh. I like the poster too. This one; not the new one showing a smirking Gerard Butler and a, well, smiling Katherine Heigl (does she do anything else?)

The film’s a comedy. Or not. Poor old comedy films. The only genre that demands a vocal response from the audience. See a horror film and you can be scared without screaming out loud; a tearjerker and you can silently weep. But a comedy? Laugh or don’t laugh. That simple. Oh sure, you can laugh on the inside, but that’s not a comedy film; it’s some smart-arsed cleverclogs we get the references type of thing. Like laughing at Shakespeare.

Ah, Shakespeare! Not funny. It’s true! Don’t go getting all itchy and jumpy. Men dressed as women, women dressed as men; it’s like pantomime without the Krankies. But Shakespeare can be made funny. All you have to do is get rid of the Shakespeare. Take Ten Things I hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew) or… ponders… She’s the Man (Twelfth Night). Ok, drop  She’s the Man. But it can be done. Both of these films were written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirtsen Smith. Oh, and they wrote The Ugly Truth, along with Nicole Eastman. Maybe basing it on Shakespeare’s deleted scenes.

It’s a shame that a film so damned should be written by three women. It’s a shame that this may reinforce  the foolish notion that women can’t be funny. For the record, Ten Things I hate About You, Legally Blonde, The House Bunny… all funny. Not just because I think so, but because I have heard the laughter in the dark.

But yesterday? I sat in a half full cinema (or half empty. Me? I’m more of a half full cinema kind of critic) and no one laughed. A comedy that got no laughs. I couldn’t even laugh at the bits that made me laugh when I saw the trailer. I laughed more at the orange Text Fu Juliette Lewis thing. I didn’t laugh, but I did cry. At the end, when the two of them get together. I’m such a softy for a happy ending.

Something’s poisoned this not very good film. It is a bad film, but I’m not sure it deserves the hate being flung at it. I suspect a bit of schadenfreude. Smiling Katherine Heigl came to most folks attention through starring in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up; a film I’ve seen and now can’t remember. And Smiling Katherine Heigl had the temerity to call the film “a little sexist”. Note “a little”. She hardly tried to shoot Apatow’s bollocks off. But the nerve of the ungrateful smiling she-devil! How dare she criticise the Godapatow; the comic genius who gave her her big break.

So now it’s payback time. She’s executive produced, she’s earning a fortune, she got her gang of crazy feminist writers to come up with the ideal vehicle… and it’s not quite worked out. Better luck next time. Keep smiling.

P.S. If you like laughing, and you like funny and sexy women (writing and performing) look out for 30 Rock, Anchorman; the legend of Ron Burgundy and Sports Night.

P.P.S. I like Judd Apatow. The 40 Year Old Virgin had me laughing out loud. And I’m looking forward to Funny People.


5 Responses to “The really ugly truth”

  1. Hannah said

    Anchorman is on (I think) BBC3 tonight – still not seen it so will be watching 🙂

    I thought The Ugly Truth was quite funny but possibly partly because I saw it with a friend who is like the female version of Gerard Butler and kept going “It’s me!” in a big loud voice.

  2. Simon Hickson said

    I like the sound of your friend. Gerard Butler is good in it, but sadly, Smiling Heigl is just not funny.

    Christina Applegate, on the other hand, is funny and sexy. Do watch Anchorman. and I hope you enjoy it.Great ensemble acting… Applegate, Ferrell, and as always, Steve Carell, and some nice surprise guest appearances too.

    Here’s one for when you’ve seen it. “I love lamp”.

  3. Hannah said

    Well yes smiling Heigl did somewhat spoil the film I have to agree.

    LOVED Anchorman! Steve Carell is great, I bet he is a pain to work with cos you’d spend the whole time laughing!

    You shall always be friend of the bears.

  4. Samantha said

    I love Christina Applegate! She is great. I wish I’d got to see her in “Sweet Charity”.. but I do have the CD. She’s great, and I like “Samantha Who” too although it’s not as funny as it should be…

  5. the ultimate problem with this film is that some hollywood writer saw the internet meme image that this film is named for and decided to base the entire film around it. as ideas go, it was a bit shaky, and they were hoping that enough people were still googling the original image for the film to be virally advertised.

    i also think that it may not be the last of these things.
    and i am looking forward to “Chocolate Rain” the musical and “Leave Brittney Alone” the Rom Com. oh wait, no im not. ;o)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: