If you’ve seen a romantic comedy before, you probably have no reason to watch The Truth About Love. If you haven’t, there are definitely better films to watch, but this one is, at the very least, watchable. Well, it’s watchable regardless, but the endless use of clichés may just bring you down, when one of the main purposes of romantic comedies is to make you feel good.
The film stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as Alice, a woman who suspects her husband of infidelity. Instead of, I don’t know, talking to him about it, she decides to send him a card, then buy a new phone and pretend to be a new person who is interested in him. She calls this new person “Anonymous”, based on a perfume that she sees earlier in the film. To her dismay, her husband, Sam (Jimi Mistry), decides to pursue this new mystery woman. It reminds me of the Honeymoon Suite song “New Girl Now.” You know, “I’ve got a new girl now/And she’s a lot like you.”
While this is going on, Sam’s best friend, Archie (Dougray Scott), is lusting after Alice. He doesn’t make it clear to her, but instead, to us. He even sent her an anonymous Valentine’s Day card. He’s a good guy, and ends up being the only one that I could actually sit back and think that he deserves to be happy. I mean, at least he’s not guilty of infidelity or entrapment, so that’s got to count for something.
Throughout the entire film, there’s a trial going on, that involves a footballer, (although the British tabloids still call it soccer for some reason), who is also accused of infidelity. But the trial is completely unrelated to the plot, and only serves to pad the runtime. Both Sam and Archie are lawyers working to clear the man’s name, but I still can’t see a reason for the trial to be included. I can only think it was meant to pad the film’s runtime, but you cut out fifteen minutes and it can still be called a feature film.
The film prides itself on using random rom-com clichés. You can figure out most of the film by watching other romantic comedies, which takes away any surprise that it might have. I would have been perfectly content if it ended ten minutes earlier, because then it would have at least skipped out on a predictable ending. But that didn’t happen, and instead, I was disappointed. For a moment, it did seem like it was going to end, but then it pulled a fast one on me and decided to be just like most other romantic comedies.
Most of the film focuses on Alice attempting to find out if both if, and why, her husband is cheating on her. He is, we learn this far before she does, but the why is what gets me. Casting Jennifer Love Hewitt in the lead role makes the film somewhat unbelievable to me. Who would cheat on her, with not one, but two (technically, maybe, I don’t know), women? The reason given is that her husband has lost interest. Really? Fine. Whatever. I’ll buy it.
But if he’s such a bad person, why does she continue to pursue him? She even says something ridiculous at one point: “I’ll be his wife and his mistress.” She hopes that this will make him want to stay with her. I can’t buy that someone would act like this, and this isn’t even the craziest thing to come from her mouth — it’s just one of the more memorable ones.
The writing is all around pretty poor. Whether it be the characters, their dialogue, or the situations, almost nothing that happens is all that believable. It also seems that the writers were missing a thesaurus, due to how many times key words were used in the film. Or maybe that was intentional and the entire film was a joke or satire or whatever it is that people try to defend these types of films use. Sorry, but it isn’t working for me.
However, the worst part of the film wasn’t the somewhat unbelievable plot, the poor characters or writing, or the fact that I still can’t believe that someone would “get tired” of Jennifer Love Hewitt. No, the worst part of the film happened in post-production, although I’m still not sure exactly what happened. When characters talk — and this happens most of the time — their lips don’t sync up with the words coming out of their mouths. Now, this could easily be a simple error in the syncing of the audio and video, but I’m not sure it’s that simple. Now, post-production dubbing happens in almost all films, but it seemed like the entire film here was dubbed over afterward. It didn’t seem like a simple syncing error, because sometimes the mouthed words and the ones being spoken didn’t seem to match up.
There’s a certain lack of humor in The Truth About Love as well. I laughed the most during the opening lines of the film, which isn’t a good sign. I was ready to laugh a lot more, but then I sat there, not laughing, and wondered how this film could even be called a romantic comedy. There’s not even a lot of romance, apart from the few scenes where characters try to seduce one another. It’s just kind of dull all around, while still falling into rom-com clichés.
The Truth About Love isn’t a good film, but like I said in the opening, it’s watchable. I felt indifferent for most of the time it was playing, but it wasn’t a complete waste of time. It’s unbelievable, poorly written, and the post-production dubbing and syncing definitely took away from the experience, making it feel amateurish, but I still couldn’t bring myself to outright hate it. That said, there are far better films out there to spend your time on, and I’d recommend you watch those instead of spending your time on this.