The Ugly Truth
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The Ugly Truth is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Robert Luketic, written by Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, and starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. The film was released in North America on July 24, 2009 by Columbia Pictures.


Abby Richter is a morning show TV producer in Sacramento, California. Abby firmly believes in true love and is a big supporter of complex self-help books such as Chicken Soup for the Soul and Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Coming home from a disastrous date, she happens to see a segment of a local television show, The Ugly Truth, featuring Mike Chadway, whose cynicism about relationships prompts Abby to call in to argue with him on-air. The next day, she discovers the TV station is threatening to cancel her show because of its poor ratings. The station owner has hired Mike to do a segment on her show.

At first, the two have a rocky relationship; Abby thinks Mike is crass and disgusting while Mike finds her to be naive and a control freak. Nevertheless, when she meets the man of her dreams, a doctor named Colin living next to her, Mike convinces her that by following his advice she will improve her chances with Colin. Abby is skeptical, but they make a deal: If Mike s management of her courtship results in her landing Colin, proving his theories on relationships, she will work happily and peacefully with him, but if Mike fails, he agrees to leave her show.

Mike succeeds in improving the ratings, brings married co-anchors Georgia and Larry closer and successfully instructs Abby to be exactly what Colin would want through a number of pointers including: always laugh at his jokes and say he is amazing in bed. Mike is invited to appear on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and is offered a job at another network. Abby is forced to cancel a romantic weekend away with Colin, during which they had planned to finally sleep together, and instead fly to Los Angeles to persuade Mike to stay with her show.

They drink and dance and Mike admits he does not want to move because he wants to stay in Sacramento near his sister and nephew. In the hotel elevator, they passionately kiss, but go to their separate rooms. Mike, dealing with the intensity of his feelings for Abby, calls on her room only to find Colin has shown up to surprise her. Mike leaves. Abby is upset and soon realizes Colin only likes the woman she has been pretending to be, not the real her. She breaks up with him.

Mike quits and takes a job with a rival TV station in Sacramento, and ends up doing a broadcast at the same hot air balloon festival as Abby. He cannot resist intruding when she kicks the new Mike Chadway imitator off the air and begins ranting about what cowardly weaklings men are. Going out of script, the balloon takes off while they argue. Abby says she broke up with Colin, and Mike admits he loves her. Abby kisses him while they fly off, all of which is broadcast due to a camera mounted in the balloon. The film ends with Abby and Mike in bed. When Mike asks if she was faking it, Abby responds with, You’ll never know.


  • Katherine Heigl as Abigail Abby Richter, a romantically challenged morning show producer.
  • Gerard Butler as Mike Chadway, her male chauvinist correspondent.
  • Eric Winter as Colin Anderson, an orthopedic surgeon who lives across from Abby. In the alternate ending, he was in a relationship with Joy.
  • Nick Searcy as Stuart, Abby and Mike s Boss
  • Cheryl Hines as Georgia Bordeney, co-anchor of the morning show, married to Larry.
  • John Michael Higgins as Larry Freeman, co-anchor of the morning show, married to Georgia.
  • Bree Turner as Joy Haim, assistant and friend to Abby who is also love starved and lives vicariously through Abby. In the alternate ending she is shown to be in a relationship with Colin.
  • Kevin Connolly as Jim Ryan, a blind date.
  • Bonnie Somerville as Elizabeth Chadway, Mike s sister.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown as Dori Coleman.
  • Allen Maldonado as Duane
  • Craig Ferguson as Himself.


The film was made by the producers of Legally Blonde and written by Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah, and Kirsten Smith. Eastman wrote the original script, which then stayed in development for about a decade before McMullah and Smith performed a rewrite.

The Mike Chadway character is allegedly based on and inspired by Adam Carolla. Gerard Butler sat in on The Adam Carolla Show, observing only, in order to prepare for his role.

Filming locations

The film was, for the most part, filmed on location in California, including Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Pedro, Los Angeles and Temecula, California. The montage sequence toward the end of the film includes the Foresthill Bridge near Auburn.


Critical response

The review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 14% based on 176 reviews, and a weighted average of 3.80/10. The website s consensus reads, Despite the best efforts of Butler and Heigl, The Ugly Truth suffers from a weak script that relies on romantic comedy formula, with little charm or comedic payoff. Moviegoers, unlike many critics, thought much higher of the film. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of A− on an A+ to F scale.

Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers gave the film a half star out of four, stating: There s not a genuine laugh in it Toss this ugly-ass crap to the curb, along with the other multiplex garbage, and see a romance that gets it right. I m talking (500) Days of Summer. Time named it one of the top 10 worst chick flicks.The A.V. Club gave the film a D. Critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two out of four stars, saying that Heigl and Butler were pleasant but the movie does them in. He commented on the restaurant scene that also was a red-band clip on YouTube, saying that Heigl makes a real effort but that Meg Ryan s scene in When Harry Met Sally… was the gold standard in this rare but never boring category . As for portraying the morning news realistically, he says the film makes Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy look like a documentary .

Ruth McCann of The Washington Post called the film indulgently glossy, refreshingly snarky and legitimately sexy . Kara Nesvig of the Star Tribune said the dialogue is snappy and sexy, Heigl and Butler spar with zingy chemistry, and though the ending is as predictable as you d assume, it s a sexy sort of popcorn flick . Nesvig praises Heigl saying the film adds up to more than the sum of its clichés .

Box office

The film opened to third place at the box office—behind Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (in its second weekend) and the newly released G-Force—with $27,605,576 and the highest per-screen average in the top 10. As of July 2, 2018, the film has grossed $88.9 million at the North American domestic box office and $116.3 million internationally for a worldwide total of $205.2 million, becoming Katherine Heigl s second best grossing film behind Knocked Up.

In Great Britain and Ireland, the film topped the box office and took in £1.9 million in its opening weekend, fighting off competition from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which entered at number two with £1.7 million.

Home media

The Ugly Truth was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 10, 2009.

Year 2009
ReleaseDate 2009-07-24
RuntimeMins 96
RuntimeStr 1h 36min
Plot An uptight television producer takes control of a morning show segment on modern relationships hosted by a misogynistic man.
Awards Awards, 3 wins & 5 nominations
Directors Robert Luketic
Writers Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith
Stars Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner
Produced by Kimberly di Bonaventura,Katherine Heigl,Nancy Heigl,Ryan Kavanaugh,Andre Lamal,Gary Lucchesi,Karen McCullah,Deborah Jelin Newmyer,Eric Reid,Steven Reuther,Tom Rosenberg,Kirsten Smith
Music by Aaron Zigman
Cinematography by Russell Carpenter
Film Editing by Lisa Zeno Churgin
Casting By Deborah Aquila,Tricia Wood,Jennifer L. Smith
Production Design by Missy Stewart
Art Direction by William Hawkins
Set Decoration by Kathy Lucas
Costume Design by Betsy Heimann
Makeup Department Michelle Rene Elam,Sean Flanigan,Zoe Hay,Tania McComas,Vickie Mynes,Christina Raye,Michele Tyminski Schoenbach,Corinna Woodcock
Production Management Steve Demko,Ted Gidlow,Vincent G. Scotti
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Carlos De La Torre,Jon Mallard,James McQuaide,Tyler Romary
Art Department James Addink,Alan Alvarado,Fred Apolito,Canyon Bailey,Rupert M. Benson III,Jack Blanchard,Randy L. Childs,Sarah Contant,David Corral,Robert Danté Denne,Wendy Drapanas,China Fox,Douglas Fox,Neil Garland,Edward A. Giron,Hector M. Gonzalez,John Herbert,Regina Hermosillo,Karen Higgins,Eric Hill,Ken E. Jones,Scott G. Jones,Steven Kissick,Anthony Klaiman,Canyon Martens,Carla S. Nemec,Anthony D. Parrillo,Nashon Petrushkin,Drew Pierce,Ronald F. Savini Jr.,Michael P. Sweeney,Brian Tipton,Jason Vanover,Joanna Venezky,Garrett Vosburg,Mark Weissenfluh,Jonathan Woods
Sound Department Michael Babcock,Ron Bedrosian,Bryan M. Cahill,Craig Dollinger,Lee Gilmore,Avram D. Gold,Aaron Grice,Tiffany S. Griffith,Larry Hopkins,Mary Jo Lang,Tim LeBlanc,Anne Lockhart,Alyson Dee Moore,Steven Morrow,Thomas J. O Connell,Jason Oliver,Steve Pederson,Troy Porter,Albert Roca,John Roesch,Joseph Tsai
Special Effects by Larz Anderson,Bart Dion
Visual Effects by Erika Abrams,Robert Adams,Mathieu Aerni,Tim Alexander,Oliver Arnold,Joel Ashman,Jennifer Avery,Adam Avitabile,Louise Baker,Ian T. Barbella,Anthony Barcelo,Andy Barrios,Travis Baumann,Danny Bergeron,Kelly Bumbarger,Andy Burmeister,Cyntia Büll,Alex Cancado,Merlin Carroll,Ray Chang,Vincent Cirelli,Chad E. Collier,Michael Collins,Shane Cook,Robert Coquia Jr.,John Cornejo,Daniel Craemer,Erin M. Cullen,Chad Dombrova,Scott Dougherty,Jenny Foster,Michel Frenette,Katie Godwin,Joanna N. Goslicka,Anthony Grant,Steve Griffith,Jennifer Gutierrez,Martin Hall,Lindsay Hallett,H Haden Hammond,Jacob Harris,John R. Hazzard,Marla Neto Henshaw,Dylan Highsmith,Craig Hilditch,Holly Gregory Horter,Josiah Holmes Howison,Christopher Ide,Andreas Jablonka,Justin Johnson,Harimander Singh Khalsa,Deke Kincaid,Mark Kolpack,Alain Lachance,Erik LaPlant,Chris LeDoux,David Lingenfelser,Zachary Lo,Jason Locke,Sean Looper,Jessica Madsen,Sarah McAnally,James McQuaide,Mindy Minkow,Glenn Morris,Mike Murphy,James Notari,Kim O Donnell,Gary Oldroyd,Raphael A. Pimentel,Eric Potter,Rebecca Ramsey,Devon Read,Migs Rustia,Gabriel Sanchez,Chad Schott,Payam Shohadai,Prasanna Siddharthan,Jason Sikora,Joey Sila,Tiffany Smith Llorens,Eva Snyder,Roland So,Martha Soehendra,Paul Stemmer,Michael Stewart,Richard Sutherland,Mai Suzuki,Steven Swanson,Olcun Tan,Thomas Tannenberger,Cameron Thomas,Yuki Uehara,Tina Wallace,Kyle Ware,James Waterson,Shane Christopher Wicklund,Sonia Yu,Bob Froehlig,Dawrath Phoue
Stunts Matt Baker,Brandon Beckman,Randy Beckman,Brandon Cornell,Brycen Counts,Chris Daniels,Jacob Dewitt,Rockey Dickey Jr.,Cheyenne Ellis,David Kilde,Rusty Manning
Camera and Electrical Department Saeed Adyani,Will Arnot,Sammy Beavers,Craig A. Brink,Craig Brown,Branch M. Brunson,Richard L. Carden,Rick Colosimo,Vincent Contarino,Chris Funk,Sheila Greene,Mark Hadland,Gene Hara,Morgan Jenkins,Will Jenkins,Michael Kleiman,Hilary Klym,Len Levine,Josh Levy,Gary Louzon,Gary Lowrance,Michael Lowrance,Jesse Mather,Kevin McKnight,Matthew Mebane,Tom Morash,Jesse Olivares,Haydn Pazanti,Nolan Pratt,Rick Pratt,Dennis Seawright,Jim Shelton,Mike Simko,Brent Studler,Jon Sudtell,Sam Wayman,Chuck Whelan,Nicole Barrett,Philip Hurn
Animation Department Raphael A. Pimentel
Casting Department Samantha Finkler Brainerd,Natasha Delahunt,Carla Lewis,Caitlin McKenna
Costume and Wardrobe Department Amanda Chamberlin,Heather Hybbert,Joyce Kogut,Ric Spencer
Editorial Department Matt Besserman,Don Broida,Siggy Ferstl,Jordan Fox,Nicholas Hasson,Jonathan Hoffman,Ramon Huggins,Andy Kaplan,Jacek Kropinski,Santiago Padilla,Ian Sullivan,Jim Passon,Dave Pickett
Location Management Ted Alvarez,Patrick Chisholm,Jennifer Dunne,Shaun Gavin,Dana Graham,Will Ruvalcaba,Mathew A. Villalobos,Nancy Wong
Music Department George Doering,Nick Fevola,Gary Grant,Jerry Hey,Steve Juliani,Patrick Kirst,Michael J. Lloyd,David Metzner,Brian O Connor,Peter Rotter,Angie Rubin,Dennis S. Sands,Michael Stern,Richard Todd,Jesse Voccia,Brad Warnaar,Mark Jan Wlodarkiewicz,Aaron Zigman,Emily C. Kwong,Mateo Laboriel
Script and Continuity Department Wilma Garscadden-Gahret
Transportation Department Roy Beville,Grady Allen Bishop,Alex E. Burns,Bruce Comtois,Michael Connor,Angel de Santi,Mark Dobkousky,Geno Hart,Kirk Huston,Alan Kaminsky,Knut Kielpinski,Jay Krueger,Seth Levine,John Pellegrino,Michael J. Riegle,Tim Schau,John Siedenburg
Additional Crew H. Leah Amir,Spencer Andrews,Bethany Andriuzzo,Joshua Aufrance,Alex Barnoya,Travis Bauer,Julie Bernards,Kendra Burrell,Jennifer Bydwell,Steve Cainas,Sue Chipperton,Calvin Dean,Deborah Dellosso,Jessica Drake,D.R. Farquharson,Corinne Fixmer,Andrea Giannetti,Kyle Gibson,Vicki Goldsmith,Grant Grabowski,Nick Grimm,Brent Hagata,Dan Harder,Michael J. Harker,Karen Ibara,Sahinbas Ilker,Lieve Jansen,Rachel Jensen,Stephanie Mace,Michelle Maloney,Christie Mattull,Kevin Mills,Laura Pearson-Smith,Shane Sankey,Kate Schriver,Lindsey Shupe,Max Smerling,Joni Smith,Michael Umble,Michael Westby,Whitney J. Willard,Herbert James Winterstern,Jessica Wood,Christina Hwang,Jeremy Jacobs,Liz Lira
Thanks Kee Kee Buckley,Toby Midgen
Genres Comedy, Romance
Companies Columbia Pictures, Lakeshore Entertainment, Relativity Media
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 6.4
ImDbRatingVotes 218667
MetacriticRating 28
Keywords bad date,tv show,nudity,wrapped in a towel,blonde