'The Ugly Truth' trailer: Count the cliche-to-laugh ratio
Rampant cliches seem to be as unavoidable in big-studio romantic comedies as greens are in a lunchtime salad. (Yes, my pre-Christmas diet plan is already affecting my blogging.) And much like it’s vital to jazz up those blasted bits of romaine with zesty cranberries and spicy chicken chunks, a good romcom trailer needs to balance its formulaic plot devices with genuinely funny dialogue and setups. With that in mind, let’s all watch the preview for the Katherine Heigl-Gerard Butler vehicle The Ugly Truth and tally up our individual cliche-to-laugh ratios.
I spotted 12 different cliches on just one pass at the 150-second spot: big-city TV-producer heroine archetype; chauvinist-with-a-mushy-heart love interest; too-perfect red-herring boyfriend (a surgeon, of course); “opposites attract” theme; wacky scheme (“let’s take down the Neanderthal love guru!”); gown/outfit try-on sequence; baseball-game date; comical/sensual eating of foodstuffs; spilled beverage on aforementioned red-herring boyfriend; miffed kick under a table; guy directs girl through date with other guy (via earpiece); sudden and “hilarious” introduction of a term like “ladygarden” (ugh). Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that The Ugly Truth trailer only made me laugh once, a sort of half-chuckle after Heigl’s character bitchily reveals she’s done a background check on her blind date. I have to give the trailer points for its use of Nikka Costa’s “Everybody Got Their Something” and Mika’s “Grace Kelly,” but these are automatically deducted by the fact that Cheryl Hines is relegated to silent background status. Could it be The Ugly Truth will be even more wretched than 27 Dresses? I can’t wait to not find out!
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