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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although in the end the main characters learn that it's being yourself that matters, most of the movie revolves around sexist, stereotypical ideas of how a woman should act if she wants to "land" a man -- and how not to act if she doesn't want to scare them all away forever (it basically boils down to playing games and hiding all signs of your true personality...). Other choice bits of advice include never criticizing, laughing at all of a guy's jokes, being sexy but also aloof, etc.
Positive Role Models
Both male and female characters are very stereotypical: The successful businesswoman loses out on romance and is written as a brittle perfectionist who can't find a boyfriend (even though she looks like Katherine Heigl...). Her counterpart is a boorish, sexist, noncommittal guy. Naturally, they both really have hearts of gold and manage to soften as the movie progresses, but the depiction of dating/relationships is still shallow and often cringe-inducing.
Violence & Scariness
Abby almost falls out of a tree and needs rescuing; lots of verbal sparring, with some yelling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Although the movie is more talk than action, there's a lot of talk, with frequent use of sexual/body part words and euphemisms like "balls," "p---y," "tits," "blow job," "funbags," etc. and frank discussions about sex and attraction. After discussing masturbation with a male co-worker, a woman dons vibrating underwear and has an orgasm during a business dinner. Two other women wrestle in a vat of Jell-O in bikinis. There's also a brief shot of partial nudity (a naked man is shown from the back from the waist down), plus some passionate kissing and one scene with implied sex (including lots of noises).
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Frequent use of everything from "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," and "c--k" to "crap," "hell," "goddamn," "oh my God," "bitch," and more.
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Products & Purchases
Pretty subtle placement of logos for a few products (BMW, for instance).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking (wine, mixed drinks), but the characters are all adults, and no one appears to overindulge.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this R-rated comedy is much crasser than star Katherine Heigl's last romcom, 27 Dresses. It's heavy on sexual references and scenarios (Jell-O wrestling, vibrating underwear, etc.) and light on sweetness. The characters are stereotypes until the end, and most of the messages about dating and relationships are shallow and, frankly, sexist (i.e. women should play games and hide all traces of their true personality if they want to "land" a man). There's also lots of strong language, from swear words like "f--k" and "s--t" to body-part terms like "balls," "c--k," "p---y," and "tits." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Heigl and Butler have enough chemistry to make a semi-scorching couple, but the movie's pluses pretty much end there. Truth is, THE UGLY TRUTH is as predictable as a romantic comedy can get. Yes, the two stars can't stand each other when they first meet. And, yes, they're polar opposites. And of course you have to suspect that they'll still wind up in each other's arms by the film's end. For good measure, there's a dance number thrown in so that they can finally touch each other long enough to realize that they like each other.
And there are other problems beyond the story. Tone, for instance. Granted, one of the protagonists is meant to be piggish, but does the rest of the film have to lard it on, too? In order to reach Judd Apatow-ian brilliance, you have to do more than just pile on the crass (Knocked Up this ain't). Had The Ugly Truth committed to being a simple-but-entertaining escape, it would have fared at least as well, if not better, than Heigl's more teen-friendly 27 Dresses.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.