Relationship Truths

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I was watching The Ugly Truth the other night and I was surprised by the blunt sexual references. Honestly, I expected yet another soppy, pathetic attempt at romantic comedy, but still I’m not sure about The Ugly Truth. In the film, Katherine Heigl plays Abby Richter, a television producer of a flagging morning show and Gerard Butler plays Mark Chadway, a chauvinist in charge of his own independent TV show titled The Ugly Truth, which details the ‘facts’ about relationships. To Mark, everything about relationships is about sexual innuendos. He is hired by her network to host his own segment within her show and she hates him on sight. He is actually rather vulgar. He’s the type of guy who’ll say, ‘Now stick your tits out,’ and he does.

As the two characters get to know each other, he bets her that he’ll be able to make her attractive male neighbor her bitch. They have a day out and he grooms Heigl about everything from her wardrobe to her hair length (“men love having something to grab on to”).

In response to Mark’s views, and fashion suggestions, Abby asks:

“Why is it my job to inspire an erection? Why isn’t it his job?”

It’s an interesting question isn’t it? It made me wonder if it is usually a woman’s job and, horror of horrors, whether women are conditioned not to realise that.

The most disturbing part, or parts, of this film are the actual truths. When Abby is asked about the last time she ‘flickd her bean’, by Mark, she almost freaks out and vehemently denies the fact that she masturbates. His response is matter of fact and quite logical and along the lines of, “How do you expect anyone to have sex with you if you don’t have sex with yourself?”

So what does Mark do? He buys her remote controlled vibrating underpants for her to use in her private time but she decides to use them for her date but her plans are altered at the last minute. They all go to an executive dinner with the network executives, and her remote falls out of her bag to be picked up by a child at a nearby table, who goes NUTS on the remote, causing Abby to explode in orgasmic bliss.

The film made me wonder if I’m beyond the banality of mating rituals and, for me, they’re banal and I”m definitely lazy. For example, I can’t be bothered shopping for heels. I’ve developed the same aloof appreciation art aficionados develop; I enter fancy department stores and check out the ridiculous heights of French and Italian made heels. The idea of stepping into these shoes, let alone walking in them, fills me with horror only because I know I’m out of practice and don’t fancy developing Beckham Bunions. Then there are cosmetic counters. If you haven’t shopped for eyeshadow in a while and feel uneasy about trying new colors, then chances are assistance is required and that means trying to filter out the cosmetician-speak, which contains 80% of fictitious information. There’s no facial cream that will minimize wrinkles, but they all maintain that we can buy youth in a bottle.

Without a doubt, the most difficult ordeal is that which relates to body maintenance. Living in constant food denial is tedious. Imagine counting calories for the rest of one’s life? It’s the minimal requirement for those who aren’t not so naturally…size zero?

Personally, I can deal with the sex but the initial pretense (whether small or significant) that accompanies a budding relationship is a minefield. It’s not too kind on the credit card either.

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