The Ugly Truth

Basically every feminist website is avoiding this one like the plague, but I actually went and saw The Ugly Truth opening night.  With my parents.  Don’t ask.

The movie poster pretty much sums it up for you:

Abby (Heigl) is a producer at a floundering television network.  Like all smart, beautiful career women, she’s also an overbearing cat lady with zero romantic prowess who hasn’t gotten laid in a year.  Her assistant is even more pitiful, living vicariously through Abby’s occasional interrogations dates since she has no chance of ever finding a man of her own.  As for Abby, her dream man is smart, handsome, well off, loves wine, and likes dogs, but prefers cats (she’s a cat lady, remember?).

At work, Abby’s production team puts on smart stuff that gets no ratings, so her boss ends up hiring Mike (Butler) to give “ugly truth” romantic advice on air in a last ditch effort to drive up the ratings.

During the first airing of the segment, Mike tells the (married) news anchors that although they put on a good show, it’s obvious they haven’t had sex in ages.  Why?  The female news anchor is earning more than her husband, thus emasculating him.  To make up for it, she should shut up and just acquiesce to his manly desires whenever, wherever.

Though Abby is initially horrified by such depravity, she warms to Mike when he promises that he’ll help her win the love of the object of her affection (some hot orthopedic surgeon who loves cats).

Fast forward: Abby needs to be slightly slutty, give great head (and swallow), have long hair, wear see-through bras, know how to flirt, fake orgasms if she’s not having natural ones, and laugh at all the guy’s jokes in order to get her man.  And since Abby’s desperate, she does it (the non-sexual stuff, at least, since she and Perfect Man are saving themselves for their perfect Lake Tahoe getaway weekend).

We also find out she thinks vibrators–and masturbation in general–are icky and unladylike.  However, she needs to learn how to get herself off because “who will fuck her if she doesn’t fuck herself?”  Mike gets her a pair of vibrating undies, which she accidentally ends up wearing to a business meeting.  This, of course, is played for major laughs.

Blah, blah, blah, all of this works and she gets her man.  But by that point, she realizes she wants Mike.  Of course, Mike wants her too, “fuck if he knows why,” considering she’s all overbearing and shit.

Romantic, no?

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About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in film, sexism, whatthefuckery and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Ugly Truth

  1. prof susurro says:

    I don’t like Hiegl and haven’t since m/b Roswell, and I think her decision to star in this film explains it all. Whether you like these types of films or not, you can see the plot coming from a mile away. Hiegl who complained her role in knocked up was “anti-feminist” has followed it by playing the intelligent, “dowdy”, glue for everyone else’s self-absorption in 27 dresses and now “the cat lady” in this film. When she is out there espousing feminism and feminist principles and critiquing her roles accordingly, she does have a responsibility to not help get junk like this greenlighted. And she has gotten enouch clout to choose better roles so it isn’t like she is a victim of casting.

    Gerard Butler has never said anything about feminism or wanting to choose roles based on feminism so . . . He may also be taking these hyper-masculine stereotypical roles for another very specific reason that I find problematic for a whole different reason, but I’ll keep that one to myself. TMZ has the photos.

    as for the writers, producers, directors, investors, etc. involved in this film . . . I only have one question: why do they think that women will be entertained by movies that depict intelligent women as frigid and unlovable or everybody’s victim? Ppl will go to this to fantasize about the leads but nothing else.

  2. Melissa says:

    I know, right? All I could think while watching the beginning was how she complained about Knocked Up being sexist. She always plays the same needy loser. I wonder how long it’ll be before she starts griping about the sexism in *this* movie, too.

    What really annoys me is that 3 women wrote this movie, and 5 of the 10 producers were women (Heigl was an executive producer).

  3. prof susurro says:

    I had no idea that many women were involved!!! That tells me I have to work harder teaching fem theory in my courses.

    good to know I’m not the only one who thinks about the contradictions btwn knocked up and now.

  4. girltrouble says:

    it just looked like harry meets sally:redux, or what a man wants:redux or any number of insipid, men-are-from-mars, women-are-from-who-cares-as-long-as-they-are-man-bait movies hollywood cranks out on the regular. why should i bother to see a movie a second time that was only 2% amusing the first go round?

  5. I didn’t avoid it at all. If you are interested my article is here: Women & Misogyny – The Ugly Truth: http://womenandhollywood.com/2009/07/21/women-misogyny-the-ugly-truth/

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