The Truth About Love

If this is the truth about love, then one assumes that director John Hay and writer Peter Bloore are very, very single. And have been that way for a very, very long time. And, on the assumption that stops them breeding, that’s a very, very good thing.

On the plus side, The Truth About Love does prompt debate. It raises key questions such as ‘how on earth does rubbish like this get made?’ and ‘what do you call a romantic comedy that’s neither romantic nor comic?’ As a drunken bet, Alice (Jennifer Love Hewitt) decides to send her husband (Jimi Mistry) an anonymous valentine’s card. When he doesn’t tell her that he’s got the card, her suspicions are aroused, her efforts cause his secret life to unravel – he’s been sleeping with an eccentric artist for ages – and Alice sets out for revenge.

Sounds promising, no? Well, no. It’s not. Any possible fun or originality has been destroyed by amateurish direction, an embarrassing script and a plot that seems designed to get Jennifer Love Hewitt’s admittedly admirable bod into lingerie as often as possible rather than provide anything recognisable as entertainment. Gags – think Carry On, circa 1970, then squeeze any humour out of them – are few and far between, and do nothing to remove the nasty taste left by the sordid goings on elsewhere. Although, perhaps, we should celebrate the fact that the sordid stuff – for reasons too tedious to go into here, Alice’s revenge involves the anonymous seduction of her own husband – is the only original element in this pathetic and depressing film.

It’s not so much predictable as a series of tedious inevitabilities studded with clichés. There’s not a single moment here that doesn’t seem familiar and we all know what that breeds. Happily, in the case of Bloore and Hay, that’s exactly what they deserve. A film that sets the British film industry back 30 years and that should never have seen the light of day.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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