The Ugly Movie...sorry I mean The Ugly Truth

I don't like to be judgmental. Oh wait, I love to be judgmental actually. That movie (The Ugly Truth) sucked. However, I won't discuss the boring script, the lack of chemistry between the characters, or that it was neither humorous nor compelling in any way. No, because of the nature of this blog, I am only discussing what the movie insinuates or bluntly says about female sexual functioning, and that part pretty much sucked too.

Katherinr Heigl  is a stuffy but successful female lead forced into a work relationship with Gerard Butler, the male lead shock jock with a penchant for misogyny. Surprise surprise, she hates him and he antagonizes her. She's ridiculously and obviously indignant about everything, and he's just so devil-may-care fun, raunchy, and wild. So it makes sense, I guess?, that she takes advice from him about how to sex herself up  (as if she's not super hot enough on her own - don't get me started on that) so she can get a date with her hot neighbor. Anyway in this process, he's telling her rules for getting a guy. He tell her to laugh at anything he says...

Him: "A fake laugh is like a fake orgasm"
Her: "a fake orgasm is good?
Him: "No, but a fake orgasm is better than no orgasm at all"
Her: "A fake orgasm is no orgasm"
Him: "Only to you. You're not the only one in the room, you know. Let's not be selfish."
Her: giggles
Him: "real or fake?"
Her: "You'll never know."

Okay, I get it. He's being a little too sexist, pushing the limits, and that's supposed to be funny, but it's not really that funny. In fact, it's sad because women really do fake orgasms to please or at least avoid disappointing their partner, and they don't need some dude to tell them to do it either. That pressure is just already out there sitting on women's shoulders. If this movie had later pointed out in some way that faking is not so much fun or helpful to a couple, then cool, I could let this go. However, it does the opposite, and we see this in the last scene of the movie. Not surprisingly, these two people get together at the end of the movie. We can assume, this being a romantic comedy, that we are supposed to see them as 2 people who are supposed to be together. They must have a good, worthy relationship, and how do they illustrate this relationship to the audience? Well just after they get together, it fades to black, and we hear Heigl orgasming like a porn star - you know all screamy and fake-like - "you're the king!" kind of thing. The scene fades up from black, and he rolls off her a little worried looking, and asks if she was faking. She says "You'll never know." Credits role, movie over. This only scene from the couple's relationship is supposed to be a cute reference to their discussion above. I don't know, it just doesn't seem cute to me that the only thing we see from this couple's life is that she fakes orgasms (it really sounded fake). My point is that it just reinforces the idea that women's orgasms are simply not that important, are mysterious, or naturally intermittent, and it makes women orgasm faking seem, well, more normal than not. Plus it glosses over the fact that faking orgasms isn't much fun, causes resentment, and gets old real quick.

Now, the one part I can give a thumbs up to is when he asks her how often she masturbates, and she says she doesn't. He says she needs to start, because, "if you don't want to have sex with you, how do you expect him to." That gets my approval: pro-masturbation and pointing out that pleasing yourself builds confidence and know-how in sexual situations. It gets a little lamer though soon after. This conversation leads to him leaving her a present - panties with a vibrator sewn in. Long story short, she ends up at an important business dinner with them on, a child gets hold of the remote, and she has an exaggerated orgasm at the table. I've seen the ol' women getting vibrated in public situation and can't stop the vibes, so she has a completely uncontrolled best orgasm of her life scene before (The O in Ohio). It was stupid then as it was in this movie. I mean really, you can't control or excuse yourself at all. And, really, your orgasm in a highly inappropriate public situation sounds like one you might hear in porn - over exaggerated for mass appeal. Really. That kind of over the top slap-stick was funny in the 50's. I think a little attempt at restraint would make for better comedy. Plus it just reinforces the idea that women who orgasm shout and moan uncontrollably like porn stars. Men (most at least) do not shout and moan for extended periods of time when they orgasm - in real life or in porn. They might grunt, look ridiculous as they concentrate, let out a yelp, contort their face, but most men don't verbalize constantly as they're leading up to and having their orgasm. You know why? Because they are actually having an orgasm - not just faking one. But I'll give this movie some credit because at least they didn't insinuate that insertion caused an orgasm like is seen in many other movies - even if the orgasm they did show was really fake.

All in all this movie sucked, and it was a backwards slide for the progression of female sexuality in popular culture. That's all for now, but I may be blogging about the bonobos reference in the movie later.

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