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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Control-Freak and the Man-Whore

The Ugly Truth on IMDb

Plot Overview

speechMorning show producer Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) backs out of her apartment with her bun in a twist. Today her boss Stuart (Nick Searcy) in an attempt to boost ratings assigns her a new guest commentator, cynical Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler.) His show about men and women is called “The Ugly Truth,” in which he lays it all out.

We the audience are supposed to get it on some level while the movie provides the sexual dots for us to connect. Mike's sister had turned “pretty” by age 14 in a curvaceous way a brother wouldn't appreciate. Mike him­self grew facial hair and his voice deepened. These are secondary sexual characteristics in women and men. Their primary sex organs activated, and the movie will visit and revisit their stimulation.

From there the girl leaves the boy in the dust. The girl gets her monthlies (“You taste like cherry,”) eventually the sister got pregnant with Jonah (Noah Matthews,) went through gestation and then delivery, and perhaps nursed the kid forming a bond. On the north side of 40 she will go through menopause. While the female experiences life­long feedback affirming her sex, the guy has from time to time a brief spurt of pleasure, and that is it. It's much along the lines of what George F. Gilder writes about:

Without a durable relationship with a woman, a man's sexual life is a series of brief and temporary exchanges, impelled by a desire to affirm his most rudimentary masculinity. But with love, sex becomes refined by selectivity, and other dimensions of personality are engaged and developed. The man him­self is refined, and his sexuality becomes not a mere impulse but a meaningful commitment in society, possibly to be ful­filled in the birth of specific children legally and recognizably his. (35)

The tension between the sexes plays out between producer and talent forming the core of the story. Also there's tension in a mixed work­place to begin with. Eminently respected business writer Peter F. Drucker states:

Throughout man's history, and above all, among primitive peoples, work groups have always been sexually differentiated. Men work together and women work together. But we rarely hear, either in history or in cultural anthro­pology, of work groups of mixed sex. Men hunt and women tend the village. Men build boats and women grow yams. In Europe women have tradition­ally milked cows, in America men; but on neither side of the Atlantic has milking been done by sexually mixed groups. (188)
According to respected scholar Gilder,
Who would have anticipated that it would be liberal Republicans in the Nixon Administration who would fulfill the cynical dream of Judge Smith when he added the words “or sex” to the bitterly won civil rights laws of the sixties. Smith thought that the thicket of sex discrim­ination would ultimately confound and dis­credit all the anti­discrim­in­ation efforts of government—in fact all the highest egalitarian impulses of liberalism. And he may have been right. (96)

In “The Ugly Truth” Georgia Bordeney (Cheryl Hines) of KSXP married news­man Larry Freeman (John Michael Higgins) to get out of her weekend slot. They now host a show together, but her salary has surpassed his by a country mile, and he feels emasculated. They haven't had sex in three months. She cynically asks, “Should I give up the money so he can have an erection?” Oh, the ugly truth! A man's sexual expression is limited to one fragile moment, while woman's as stated above is more comprehensive. To compensate for this inequality, his manhood can be artificially bolstered by his masculine role of a provider for a family, encouraged by a modestly higher salary than a hers in the same position. Our movie has formulated “peace” as worth­while, which is more obtainable when young single males don't go off into violence to express their unfulfilled man­hood. Abby confirms that her Sacramento community is a better place to raise a family than is big city San Francisco with its better paying jobs and higher crime rate. It is at times worth it to give up some added money. Gilder observes that, “even a relatively small proportion of unsocialized males can make life miserable for thousands of conventional citizens in a modern urban environment. The apparent swash­buckling hedonism of the male counter­culture, more­over, exerts a strong appeal to almost every man. Thus unsocialized men can have a disruptive influence—as well as direct violent impact—far beyond their numbers” (113).

Methodology is importantIn our movie Mike & Abby's adversarial relations turn into tutor & pupil when Abby desperately needs help to land her dream­boat neighbor Dr. Colin Anderson (Eric Winter.) That in turn swerves into the question of whether they are talking about vocabulary or love. I won't steal their thunder, but there is one word that lends itself to further discussion.

Chauvinism has long meant excessive devotion to a cause or an ideal—usually political—used almost always with a modifier to specify a particular one. At one point a feminist picked up this forty dollar word and used it according to her lights to describe a male dominated world. They use it with­out modifier to describe male chauvinism exclusively. Here Mike is a cretin, to be sure, but that's because he hasn't been properly socialized, not because he's bending over back­wards to trans­form a female-friendly world. After all, he gives his nephew Jonah straight advice. In this film we discover: female brown­nose chauvinism when Abby's assistant Joy (Bree Turner) dates vicariously through her boss, ratings chauvinism when in a dream their boss Stuart (Nick Searcy) wants Abby to strip on the air, and fishing chauvinism when Abby's cat D'Artagnan gets carried away at the fish bowl. boy at windowMike does display avuncular chauvinism, however, when he lives next door to his sister in order to be a handy male influence on her son Jonah who for that matter has open access backstage, and he won't move to S.F. for a better paying job, because it would be too far to drive to see him.


happy hugMike pegs Abby's dreamboat's reactions so accurately, he's a regular “Nostradamus.” Yet things get so unpredictable as they move along, that we need to throw in a caution with, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.” Some observable motions on land, sea and air can be so unpredictable, that who knows how a more complicated love affair will work out? The movie uses the same meme: for land travel, with Abby's adventure in a tree trying to retrieve D'Artagnan, on water when Mike joins two scantily-clad babes wrestling in a tub of Jell–O, in the air when the pair covers live a hot air balloon conference. Be prepared for surprises, Nostradamus.

Production Values

” (2009) was directed by Robert Luketic. Its screenplay was written by three women: Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah Lutz, and Kirsten Smith. It stars Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Eric Winter, Bree Turner, and Nick Searcy. Regrettably, Heigl was not the comedic genius the role had potential for. She did better at the shrew aspect, and she danced okay. Cheryl Hines, how­ever, would handle comparison with Lucille Ball the way she could evoke a laugh with minimal material.

MPAA rated it R for sexual content and language. The cinema­tog­raphy could have been better developed. At about 1½ hours long its short­comings won't drag on. I didn't see any point including their DVD's alternate endings.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

If a guy can tolerate such a piece of fluff, this might work well as a date movie. I've seen worse. It treads ground previously trod, but this time with a collabor­ative effort.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611. Rev. 1769. Software.

Drucker, Peter F. Management (London: Heinemann, 1974. Print.

Gilder, George F. Sexual Suicide. New York: Quadrangle, 1973. Print.