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"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes.  There's too much fraternizing with the enemy.” --Secretary of State Henry Kissinger For centuries, great thinkers have pondered the vast gap that exists between the male way of seeing the world and the female way of seeing the world and wondered if we can ever really connect. For Mike Chadway, former cable TV phenom and the new correspondent on Sacramento morning television, the answer is really quite simple: don't be an idiot. Of course men and women can connect . . . but mostly in between the sheets, and only if women will finally begin to understand that men are primal, carnal, simplistic beings who crave constant arousal.  Mike's risqué POV has skyrocketed ratings but it has also turned up the temperature for his producer, Abby Richter, a woman who takes the complete opposite position. In Abby's world, true love is the bottom line and the trick is finding a man who knows his own heart -- and she's ready to battle Mike to prove that such a romantically-inclined, knight-in-shining-armor actually exists in the real world.  But could it be that the real truth lies in combining Abby and Mike's competing POVs? 

That's the question raised with playful provocation and tantalizing results in the comedy The Ugly Truth, which teams director Robert Luketic (21, Monster-In-Law, Legally Blonde) with the tit-for-tat comic pairing of Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler.  Says Luketic: "I think we're all starting to realize that men and women are wired differently and it's liberating to be able to play with that in a movie that's honest and frank, but also outrageously irreverent, about what makes us different and what brings us together. We are certainly all equal but the ugly truth is that there are things men need and there are things women need – and sometimes they clash, and yet . . . it's that difference that makes romance so exciting and wonderful.”  He continues: "I like that this movie is a chance to chill out and laugh over this stuff. Because at the end of the day, when you strip away all the myths and all the posturing men and women take so seriously, both sexes keep falling in love in spite of it all.”  The Ugly Truth began with three women screenwriters: Nicole Eastman and the high-energy team of Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith.

 Eastman, who makes her screenwriting debut, says she was inspired by the idea of writing about two people who think they despise each other, but as their battle wages, are horrified to find they might also be magnetically drawn to one another.  "It's really about the two most unlikely people in the world to fall in love -- and what happens when they accidentally do,” Eastman explains. "Abby and Mike have a lot of resistance to each other. She's the opposite of the brainless bimbos he says men want, and he's nowhere near the Prince Charming she says she's always wanted. Yet you end up rooting for them to come together because you can see underneath they both have similar vulnerabilities. What I love is that they're definitely not your cookie-cutter comedy characters. And what makes this story different from typical romantic comedies is that the obstacles that stand between them aren't external but internal. There are a lot of layers to what's really going on.” 

 All of those layers were inspired by the actions and interactions of real men and women Eastman had observed. "I based Abby on someone I know who is great at her job but terrible at dating,” she explains. "Mike was a completely fictional character I wanted to be as obnoxious and rude as possible, so I can't believe how much men say they relate to him!”  Eastman's initial script immediately drew Lakeshore Entertainment's interest. 

"We'd been looking for a comedy with romantic elements ever since<

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