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How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (PG-13)
Official Site
Director: Donald Petrie
Producers: Robert Evans, Christie Peters, Lynda Obst, Donald Petrie
Written by: Kristin Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers
Cast: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg, Michael Michele, Bebe Neuwirth, Thomas Lennon

Rating: out of 5

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days feels like it was shot in real-time, and I don’t think it’s just because I was sitting in the front row.

With the romantic comedy genre, of course you brace yourself for a… formulaic romance. Beautiful boy falls for beautiful girl. Throw in some mistaken identity, lying and/or deception, followed by a revelation of the truth, what other than a spiteful break-up, a “but wait I really love you” proclamation, and finally an everlasting reunion sealed with a kiss and sappy music. You foolishly hope for perhaps a little bit of comedy.

These hopes will be completely dashed, trust me.

Ben (McConaughey) is a stereotypical, greedy executive at Warren Advertising, going head-to-head with a pair of mindless vixens with low-cut blouses to work on the new account. The CEO agrees that if Ben can make a women fall in love with him in 10 days, he will be the best suited to sell diamonds to women and therefore win the account.

Simultaneously, we meet Andie Anderson (Hudson), a wannabe significant journalist at Composure, a Cosmo-equivalent women’s magazine. Her bitchy boss (Neuwirth) rejects Hudson’s political article, but digs her next concept—guess what—“How to lose a guy in 10 days,” a guide to what-not-to-do in dating, inspired by her overly pathetic friend’s ridiculous relationship faux pas including clinginess, way-too-early “I love yous,” and rampant jealousy.


Andie and Ben serendipitously meet and immediately start seeing each other every night. For the rest of the film, Andie switches un-seamlessly from the gorgeous, intriguing girl she is into this annoying, whiny, baby-talking girlfriend doing everything she can to drive Ben away. But of course, he won’t be deterred. He wants to win the account. Somehow, despite her obnoxiousness and his feeble acceptance of it, they manage to fall for each other.

Yeah, some of the stuff she does is kind of funny (Day Three: bringing a box of pink teddy bears and a baby fern that Ben is told to nurture like their new love), but most of it is downright stupid—and expected.

After seven days of dating they go to couples therapy (Andie’s friend plays the shrink) and are randomly told to go to Staten Island to visit Ben’s family. Even more randomly, Ben’s family is a bunch of Southerners yelling “bullshit.” (Okay, they’re playing cards.) Andie is so touched by Ben’s mom’s hug (“I mean when she hugged me, she really hugged me.”) that she is propelled to finally consummate their relationship right there in his parents’ bathroom.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about this film is that it implies that people can decide one day they want to fall in love and then —voila!—it happens within six hours. Neither of the main characters is too likable and the script is just occasionally smile-worthy.

My recommendation: Save a few bucks and rent Dazed And Confused and Almost Famous.

—Michelle Fajkus


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