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.