Urban Cinefile
"I'd go into my trailer and concentrate on John Coffey - and when I came out, I was John Coffey "  -Michael Clarke Duncan on his role in The Green Mile
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday May 22, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



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. 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.

In the DVD’s Mapping out the Perfect Movie, the most interesting clips are those about Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. ‘When she smiles, I light up,’ says McConnaughey of Kate. Producer Lynda Obst believes Hudson is a revelation and everyone agrees that she’s a breath of fresh air with a great career ahead of her. In talking about the casting of McConaughey, director Donald Petrie admits it was ‘tough’ to match someone with Kate. Hudson talks about how exhilarating it is to play such a crazy character who would do things that she wouldn’t dream of doing. (Trivia lovers will be interested to know that Hudson bought the bulldog puppy shown in one of the deleted scenes.)

The audio commentary with director Donald Petrie is extremely detailed and while we learn a few interesting things (like McConaughey is very good at improvising and can carry a five minute conversation on the topic of diamonds), but is only for the real fans.

In the featurette - Finding the Perfect Location - we can select whichever location takes our interest – be it New York itself, Andie’s apartment or Staten Island Ferry, and learn more about it from cast and crew.

Published October 9, 2003

Email this article


CAST: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg, Michael Michele, Shalom Harlow, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Klein, Kathryn Hahn, Thomas Lennon, Annie Parisse

DIRECTOR: Donald Petrie

SCRIPT: Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers (Michelle Alexander, Jeannie Long – book)

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

PRESENTATION: widescreen enhanced for 16:9 and English Dolby Surround.

SPECIAL FEATURES: audio commentary by director Donald Petrie; extended cast/crew interviews; five deleted scenes with director’s commentary; Mapping the Perfect Location featurette.


DVD RELEASE: October 9, 2003

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020