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The Ugly Truth review

Hey, Gerard Butler – Matt McConaughey called and he wants his gig back. McC should be worried. Because although the gravel-voiced Glaswegian looks like he’s storing nuts for winter in his cheeky chops and sports a Yank accent that wavers uncertainly between Pasadena and Paisley, he has charisma in spades.

After surviving the flaccid PS I Love You and growling through 300, Gerry has a confident twinkle in his eye and rough diamond attractiveness that makes it easy to believe the adorable Katherine Heigl could fall for him. Which is a blessing in this brisk, by-numbers love/hate romp that starts out deliciously spiky, smutty and sexy, before running out of juice.

Butler is TV commentator Mike, an unrepentant “man-whore” who dishes the dirt on what men really think about women and relationships. Did we mention he’s also gorgeous? He’s the absolute pits to his uptight producer Abby (Heigl), a woman who will only consider guys that adhere to a strict list of attributes and who does background checks on all her dates. (She’s gorgeous, too).

Never the twain shall meet, right? Ah, but what if Abby is desperate to net her hunky new neighbour (Eric Winter) and Mike offers to help train her in his own brand of caveman seduction?

Nothing new under the sun, but Butler and Heigl sizzle nicely together in a script that steers away from cutesy in favour of potty-mouthed put-downs, blow-job jokes and vibrating knickers.

You want these two to get it on – their chemistry is hot and both actors switch neatly from pratfalls to heartfelt conviction. But… then comes the scene where they share a lift.

It’s a beguilingly awkward, saucy moment – but from there on, the movie inexplicably plummets straight to the ground floor and the fizz disappears as an obligatory misunderstanding and some seriously shonky CGI hurry us along to the predictable finale. What a come-down.

Surprisingly sharp and sassy, this romcom for grown-ups is like many a romantic dalliance – the thrill of the chase is more fun than the catch.

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