I had written about my criticism of most romantic movies a small while ago. Now, I normally didn’t have such a critical eye with romantic movies prior to my realization. But ever since then, I startedto be more critical of romance movies. Anyway, I have a terrible memory, so my commentary about The Ugly Truth (which I saw last week) might be a little off. I’ll return to break it down when it comes out on DVD or something. But in the meantime, here’s what I appreciated about the movie (slight spoilers up ahead) as well as some criticisms.
One of the things I appreciated about The Ugly Truth is that we see Mike’s attraction towards Abby. We see this from the very beginning. It’s clear that he wants something more than to just work with her. We see a classic case of guy watching girl chasing other guy. In this case, the guy even goes so far as to help her chase after what she thinks to be her dream guy. I also appreciated that they touched on the whole “list” thing: how Abby has reduced a perfect man to ten qualities.But they really copped out at the end. There was just way too much that was being told to us as an audience, as opposed to showing us. The end of the movie where they met up for drinks and had “that moment” on the dance floor, and again in the elevator, it was a copout. Pages in the screenplay (and therefore minutes of runtime) were running out, so Mike simply blurted out how he felt; that whole spiel about how he couldn’t measure up to a doctor because he never even graduated college, and how he couldn’t measure up to her list, where the hell did that come from? That was not shown to us at all throughout the movie. It was just spoon fed to us.As for Abby’s whole thing with being fake and holding back the real her, we never really got to see that. One little scene with her spitting out caviar on a cracker is not exactly a great way to get the message across that Abby is a loud controlling woman. We never saw that Abby was putting on a facade.
As usual, these kinds of film touch on some very interesting topics that could have been expanded upon with great emotional depth. However, the movie takes a shortcut and just wraps up loose ends with dialogue. Overall, I think that there was way too much time being spent on Mike’s “expertise” with relationship coaching. That time would’ve been better spent showing us why Abby also falls in love with Mike: her whole thing with bottled water at restaurants is a joke reason for her to fall in love.
After I rewatch the movie, maybe I’ll rewrite it. Until then, I’ll be trying to watch more romance movies.