Sometimes I editorialize images I find on the internet with pithy comments in pink letters. But sometimes there’s an image that speaks entirely for itself. Such is the case of the final poster for The Ugly Truth, which I spotted on the streets while walking to the bank this afternoon:
Yes, ladies and gents, it speaks for itself, and it says, “UGH.” Even though this is essentially the same thing as the teaser poster (but now with actors),it’s still an embarrassment to anyone with a brain. Or genitals.
Women love love, so Katherine Heigl’s holding her heart as an object unto itself. And men love sex, so Gerard Butler’s holding his heart over his business while he lustily smirks at Katherine Heigl. The lesson? Men love you to take a ride on their discostick, so do it now in order to make them like you, ladies. Don’t worry that this probably means they’re emotionally unavailable Neanderthal man-children; just give them a trip down your tunnel of love, and the sparks will be flying!
Look, I fully understand that movies like The Ugly Truth are intended to be light-hearted comedies that deliberately embrace tired gender stereotypes as opposed to having the creativity or intelligence required in saying something innovative about how men and women emotionally and romantically connect, but this Gender Wars 101 bullshit is the dead horse that’s been so thoroughly beaten that all you’ve got in front of you is a bucket of glue. Never mind the trailer; this poster is so boring I damn near had a narcoleptic fit on Sixth Avenue.
More importantly, though, is how incredibly misogynistic these reductive gender politics are.
In what way are women empowered by witnessing a wish-fulfillment fantasy involving solving all their romantic woes by finally taming the scoundrel into submission? Oh wait, they are because Hollywood’s idea of a capable woman is one who can successfully fall in love? Oh, and she’s a working girl, so it’s still totally feminist? Sorry, y’all, my bad. I guess I forgot my Women’s Lib somewhere along the path to being the angriest gay. Clearly this is the new look of (non)empowerment.
But let’s not forget how this brand of “comedy” insults women by simply treating the caddish behavior of men as an acceptable phase in emotional development; or how, in doing so, these sorts of movies reaffirm the sexual double standards that women so frequently face in society.
If the character’s behaviors were reversed, The Ugly Truth would be Katherine Heigl playing a slut that needs to stop being so slutty by finding herself a nice man. Since nice men cure sluttiness, and women who are in charge of their sexuality are what we call “sluts,” and said “sluttiness” is a social problem. Unlike being a mantramp, which we all recognize as something men are entitled to do because they keep their hearts in their dicks? Huh? Looks like Hollywood’s just solved gender equality back into the Stone Age!
Whatever. The Ugly Truth is a bad idea that nobody should want, but I’m sure plenty will buy. Seeing as I’d sooner chew my foot off than set it near a theater showing this dreck, I welcome people to report back on precisely what sort of misogynistic shit show of a train wreck I’m anticipating it ends up being. I do love Katherine Heigl (Izzie and Denny 4EVAH!), so I’d love to be wrong, but there’s this classy education on female style. Oh, and the scene with the vibrating panties.
I rest my case, y’all.
And, while you’re up, do be a dear and bring me the Tylenol. My brain hurts.