As the story starts, we are introduced to Abby (Katherine Heigl), a driven, by the books, television morning news producer with little time for a relationship, although she often dreams of meeting that perfect guy. She works hard but the show is struggling for ratings. The answer is seemingly found in a public access show host named Mike (Gerard Butler) who has a show called "The Ugly Truth." It is a crass, vulgar show where Mike points out the simplicity of the male species. What they want is simple, although it may not fit into the expectations that women have for them. He is charismatic, causes a reaction, and seems to be a perfect fit for the news show's problems.
The central conflict is between Mike and his piggish ways and Abby and her prim and proper visage. It is a foregone conclusion that these two will end up together — the only real question is how long it will take.
It starts out pretty good, with the awkward meet-cute of Mike and Abby, the ability that Mike has to cut through it all and target the crux of the matter, much to Abby's chagrin. These early moments attempt to deliver a more honest romantic comedy, offering "real world" advice. While I did not find it terribly believable, I did find it rather funny. The butting of heads is fun, as both of our leads seem to be quite in touch with their characters, creating a little electricity even if any character development is cut off at the knees.
If you have watched any romantic comedies over the year, you will recognize the structure here, meaning that the ebb and flow will be nothing new to you. Just watching the trailer will tell you how the story is going play out, saving me the need to lay it out any further for you. The true success of the movie lies squarely on the backs of the performers.
There is not a lot of directorial style, meaning any capable director could be behind the camera; in this case it is Robert Luketic, whose prior credits include 21, Monster in Law, and Legally Blonde, none of which are terribly stylish in the directorial sense. He can put a movie together, just don't expect much.
As for the screenplay from Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah Lutz, and Kirsten Smith, it is hardly groundbreaking, although I do have to wonder if any of it got cut out during the production. There are moments that seem to want to develop into something more but ultimately do not lead anywhere. In particular, I enjoyed the too few moments with Mike and his nephew, and the blown off moment later on between Mike and Abby as they discuss why Mike is the way he is. Both of these elements hinted at a screenplay that may originally have had a bit more depth in it.