August 19, 2009

The Ugly Truth - Music Composed by Aaon Zigman

The romantic comedy is one of the most cliched and formulaic of all film genres. Even the ones that seem to stretch the possibilities end up relying on them once it comes time for the story to gain focus and momentum for the climax. The Ugly Truth is one of those movies that falls squarely within the fantasy world of the romantic comedy, but it pretends to be more. It pretends to pull the sheet back to reveal the "truth" at the core of the male/female dynamic, simplifying it to the basest cliched elements and then presenting that as some sort of reality, when in fact all they are doing is trying to lure in the male demographic before switching back to fantasy land in the latter half. A similar thing can be said for the score, it is filled with a few interesting bits, but they all get cut off at the knees leaving behind the standard rom-com musical fare to dominate.

The scoring duties were handled by Aaron Zigman, who also composed for the Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy The Proposal. I cannot say I recognize the name, but looking over his list of credits, it appears he has been awfully prolific since he first appeared on the scene back in 2002. You would think I would have noticed him over that span, especially when you consider he has 37 credits over that time frame.

I look a little closer and I realize that none of the movies seem to have memorable music. Whether that is due to the composer or the needs of the film I am not going to speculate as he has some very good films in there, such as Bridge to Terabithia and The Notebook. Wait, wait a minute, I think I see one! Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a decent movie and possesses a delightful score, which I own. I completely forgot he was the man with the pen for that.

In any case, this score release is filled with little bits and pieces that do not amount to all that much. Figure that the score is 38-minutes long and features 35 cues. Can you honestly say that is enough time for anything to develop? I mean the only album that comes close to length and content that actually did something in that brief frame I can think of is D.R.I.'s Dealing With It, which featured 27 songs in about 38 minutes.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the music on the disk. It is played well and benefits from slick production. The problem is that I just cannot get into it. The majority of the "cues" (not sure they are long enough to count!) fall under the typical for the genre. You get a blend of the serious romantic type cuts alongside the jokey, comedic cues. These two styles dominate the scant run time and cover the basics.

On the other side of the coin, there are a few cues that I like but are just too short to develop into much of anything. These intermittent moments of interest include: "Get the Stain Out," "Jello Twins," "Duck Cacciatore," "Thank Your P***y For Me," "Black Dress," "Frowny McFlaccid," and "Cat Escapes."

Bottomline. There really is nothing terribly special here. It is competently written and does its job in the movie, but it is not something I believe I will find myself coming back to all that often.

Not Recommended.


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