HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS
Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a columnist for Composure Magazine and is eager to prove herself to editor-in-chief Lana (Bebe Neuwirth). When her best friend is heartbroken after her boyfriend ditches her, Andie comes up with the idea to write a firsthand account of all the things women inadvertently do to drive men away. Her mission is to find a guy, make him fall in love with her, and then make the classic dating mistakes so he will dump her. All within 10 days. As fate would have it, her target is advertising hotshot Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey), who has just made a bet with his boss that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days.
Review by Louise Keller:
It’s farfetched, contrived, predictable… and absolutely irresistible! How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days is a winning recipe of a cautionary tale, romance and battle of the sexes. If you’re a bit of a romantic with a penchant for playfulness, here is a fresh and funny, entertaining collision of hearts. First of all, let’s look at the star ingredients. Kate Hudson sparkles through the entire film with such good nature and impish girlie charm, that we can’t help but fall in love with her. Her Andie is the perfect combination of innocence and well-practised manipulator. And while her ‘surefire ways to get rid of a guy’ may be ridiculous, the way she nonchalantly places dainty cucumber sandwiches on the boys’ night card table, obliging them to stub out their cigars, is manipulating, yet wonderfully seductive. As for leaving seventeen messages on his voicemail, those intrusive calls at work when he is in a meeting, taking him to a chick-flick marathon, speaking in baby-talk and decorating his apartment with her teddy bears and all pink bathroom accessories – it’s cringe material. Then there is her yappy little apology of a hairless Chinese Crested toy dog with a feather duster for a tail – well, it’s his Burberry plaid doggie coat (that matches her scarf, and her gift of a full length coat for him) that catches our eye. Quite aside from the fact that he hasn’t been house trained and makes his mark on the snooker table, the card table and anything at all that resembles grass. All those cliché ‘don’ts’ that everyone (male or female) recognises en masse, create a frenzy of accumulative humour. You know, when a female becomes over-clingy, needy, possessive and drives a fella crazy? Matthew McConaughey is perfect as the guy who begins by wanting to win the bet, but ends up wanting to win the girl. Even if they both appear to be the same thing. Of course, we all know where the story is heading – and when Andie meets Ben’s parents (and relations), we realise that the superficial has found its way into a wonderful sincerity. In the climactic dinner scene in which Hudson wears a backless, canary yellow silk number, and sings a memorable rendition of ‘You’re So Vain’ in a raucous duet with McConaughey, everyone lets loose. It’s a cute touch that songwriter Marvin Hamlish accompanies them, protesting all the while that it isn’t one of his songs. With the same kind of allure as Pillow Talk and Sleepless in Seattle, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is sweetly stirred and rises to the occasion like a light, fluffy soufflé.
Review by Richard Kuipers:
Kate Hudson might have 10 days to win and lose Matthew McConaughey but it only took five minutes for this heartless and witless comedy to completely lose me. There's such an ugly premise driving this drivel it's impossible to care for the characters or their combined fate - which is a foregone conclusion anyway. It's no fun watching a couple of cynical, career-obsessed individuals lying to each other for an hour and a half before the dual deceptions are revealed. Even after they admit how each has conned the other, this highly unattractive duo spend another half-hour taking turns on the high moral ground before finally surrendering to the Hollywood law of romantic inevitability. That's after we're treated to painfully unfunny and completely unrealistic (even for this type of film) scenes including Hudson acting like a demented 50s housewife at McConaughey's poker night and allowing a revolting toy dog to piss all over his pool table. Worse still, she takes him to a "chick flick" film festival and then insists on talking as they watch Sleepless in Seattle. It's bad enough enduring movies with real-life talkers behind you but offering up such a scene here was, for me anyway, the final straw. Most of the puerile humour in this piece is engineered at the expense of Hudson's character, who is clearly defined as the more guilty perpetrator and must perform ritual public humiliation to win back her man. When she does, it leaves a particularly nasty taste in the mouth. I like Hudson, and McConaughey's usually okay with the right material, but all I could feel was pity for them in this execrable outing. Even if you accept the 'inspiration' for this so-called romantic comedy you'll probably have a fair to middling time at best during the 112 minutes it takes to play out. If not you'll feel like it's taken 10 weeks to sit through.
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HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS (M)
CAST: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg, Michael Michele, Shalom Harlow, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Klein, Kathryn Hahn, Thomas Lennon, Annie Parisse
PRODUCER: Lynda Obst, Robert Evans, Christine Peters
DIRECTOR: Donald Petrie
SCRIPT: Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers (Michelle Alexander, Jeannie Long – book)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: John Bailey, ACS
EDITOR: Debra Neil-Fisher ACE
MUSIC: Dana Millman-Dufine
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Therese Deprez
RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 24, 2003
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