Fearlessly mixing his metaphors, composer Aaron Zigman writes of The Ugly Truth, "I feel that in this romantic comedy I was able to spread my wings and step outside the box a bit...." Cut through those clichés, and it seems that Zigman, already represented in movie theaters in the same period with My Sister's Keeper and The Proposal, wanted to try something a little different in his music for director Robert Luketic's film about the contentious and eventually romantic encounter between a TV morning show producer and "a hardcore TV personality" (that's what it says in the press release). Not unreasonably, Zigman seems to have chosen the tango as his musical response to the plot, and starting with "Flick the Bean" and "Abby Calls Colin," the first two cues, he does just that, making use of short, sprightly, rhythmic motifs that have a distinctly Henry Mancini-like quality to them. Sometimes castanets and other percussion instruments add spice; sometimes Zigman turns to a wah-wah electric guitar for a light funk feel. There are lots of cues here -- 35 in 38 minutes -- so nothing goes on very long. But the overall sense of sly fun remains constant. Whether or not Zigman's wings are still in his box, he seems to have come up with an appropriate score for a summer comedy.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|The Ugly Truth, film score|