Hate-Watching the Ugly Truth

What Women Really Think
July 27 2009 3:43 PM

Hate-Watching the Ugly Truth

/blogs/xx_factor/2009/07/27/why_do_women_see_terrible_romantic_comedies/jcr:content/body/slate_image

Manohla Dargis had a beautifully salty takedown of the new Katherine Heigl romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth , on Friday. She lambastes the writers, all women, for thinking up "this junk" in the first place, but adds that it's not surprising, because "One of the lessons of 'The Ugly Truth' beyond the obvious one that a desirable, desiring woman can never, ever, be happily single and sexual in modern Hollywood-is that holding to your hard-won ideals is of no consequence, at least when there’s a guy to be hooked."

Advertisement

What's also not surprising is that the movie made a projected $27 million this weekend. It's the third largest-opening romantic comedy of the year, and its success makes me wonder: Why do women keep shelling out to see this junk? The movie was universally panned. Katherine Heigl is one of the most disliked actresses in the blogosphere. From the trailers , it was obvious that the movie plays on the most outmoded stereotypes (she's a priss, he's a pig, he teaches her how to have fun!).

I know why I shell out $10+ to see this crap in the theaters occassionally: because I enjoy a good hate-watch. But are there other reasonable explanations as to why women are seeing these shoddy, insulting rom-coms in droves?

Photograph of Gerard Butler and Katerine Heigl in The Ugly Truth courtesy of Lakeshore Entertainment.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

The Ludicrous Claims Women Are Pitched at “Egg Freezing Parties”

Behold
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 2:08 PM We Need to Talk: Terrible Name, Good Show
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 1 2014 1:53 PM Slate Superfest East How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 2:15 PM Gateway Episodes: Gilmore Girls
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.