If you google “most sexist movie of all time” the results are very inconclusive. This is partially because it really wants to tell you the sexiest movies of all time, and also partly because so many movies are blatantly sexist it’s hard to narrow it down to one that is king of them all.
But one that I saw come up on several lists was The Ugly Truth, and my friends all told me that “oh my god this is the most misogynistic rom-com ever you will hate it.” So naturally, I decided to watch it. And they were totally right.
The film stars Katherine Heigl as Abby, an uptight news producer whose show is on the line. Enter Gerard Butler‘s character, Mike, who has his own outright sexist TV show about how all relationships are doomed to fail unless women meet the simple needs of men, and has been hired to come onto Heigl’s show as a commentator to boost ratings. At first you think the plot is going to go in the direction of teaching Mike his wrong ways and punishing him for his ignorance. But it doesn’t, and it’s so friggin’ hard to watch!
So, I documented my experience watching this film via selfies. Now we have proof of how ugly the truth is.
Stage 1: Agitation
Within the first three minutes of the film, a man complains about his wife, that man needs to discuss the size of his balls, and confides in Abby to convince him of his masculinity. We also hear the first half of Katy Perry’s “Hot n Cold.”
Stage 2: Anger
We are ten minutes in and have already reached the “I am so mad at this movie I must watch it from behind a pillow” phase. There are too many micro (and macro) aggressions to count at this point, but here are some highlights. Abby is a woman who “works too hard.” Abby brings a copy of a man’s dating profile and legal background check to their first date because she is just UNHINGED AND CRAZY! During that date, she argues that her date’s water order is bad. We meet the Mike character, who we hope doesn’t stick around, but does. He is a less interesting and watered down version of Tom Cruise’s character in Magnolia. He uses the phrase “lonely hag” and says “women should get a stair-master to get skinny and wear trashy lingerie.” And these are JUST the highlights.
Stage 3: Anger COMBINED with Distress!
We have reached the point where my face can’t say it all. I need snapchat and bitmojis to convey everything. Just six minutes have passed since my last stage. Men have compared women based on their levels of anger and bitterness. (Mine of which, are quite high by the way!) Mike yelled at a woman on live TV for emasculating her husband by earning more than him. Instead of being made to look like the bad guy, like you would think would happen, he causes the approval ratings to go up to 93% and is considered a hero in their relationship.
Stage 4: Too Disappointed to Eat
I googled who wrote this movie. There were three writers. All were women. I flipped my popcorn over. I had trouble processing this information.
Stage 5: Wine/Regret
Mike is now teaching Abby, the only person who ever opposed him, how to attract men. All the advice is sexist. And it works. He is vindicated. It also becomes clear that Abby and Mike are the ship of the film, which is just gross to me. I can’t be bothered to list examples of misogyny, or look how much longer this movie is. Just take my word for it. It is not going well.
Stage 6: This Crazy Snapchat Bunny
Stage 7: Whatever the Opposite of Pity Is
We learn that Mike is the way he is because he has been hurt by women before! Poor thing! I feel SO bad! It must be hard to feel emotion when you are a mere man!
Stage 8: Sick
Despite the fact that Abby has a hot doctor boyfriend now, she makes out with Mike in an elevator? And he realizes his human heart can love again and that it loves Abby? And am I really supposed to be shipping this garbage?
Stage 9: Done
I finished the movie. And though I made it out alive on the other side, I do not feel like a winner. There are no winners here. Only losers. Abby and Mike end up together. His sexism is never punished. 95 minutes of my life have gone down the drain. I do not get them back. This movie will haunt me forever.