How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Who would you take to the desert island? Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, or Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey? That's a toughie.

The answer isn't Sandra Bullock and anyone brave enough. Let's just say How To Lose is less damp in the hanky department than Sleepless In Seattle. Kate's more fun than Meg and Matthew's more handsome than Tom.

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The world of comedy romance is filled with such trivial questions. It's so Maid In Manhattan. Where does the love go? It stays right here. Two Weeks Notice? Not accepted, sorry. He looks into her eyes; she blinks; their hearts turn somersaults.

There was a time when girls played hard to get and guys went ga-ga in florists. Now it's a war zone and you can't trust a compliment, or believe in spontaneity. Technique in the craft of courtship requires concerted study, or a natural gift. When she says no she means maybe and when he says forever he means your place or mine. It's not how you say it, but when you say it. Timing and luck and a personal trainer helps. Blubbing and neediness and a bad choice of restaurant does not.

There is something in the plot that makes you smile. It's about deception, using people, messing with emotions for personal gain, seriously bitchy end games, although on the face of it Andie Anderson (Hudson) is a team player and Ben Barry (McConaughey) eats arrogance for breakfast and never lets it show. She writes How To pieces for the most happening New York girlie glossy and he's one of those advertising execs who makes you believe that a job like that is anything but a soul sell.

Andie's editor (Bebe Neuwirth) commissions her to write an article on How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Why only 10, Andie wonders. "Five is too short and we go to press in 11," comes the reply. She has to pick a fella, seduce his lights out and then force him to dump her in less than a fortnight. Meanwhile, Ben has made a bet with his boss that he can make a girl fall in love with him in the same amount of time. If he wins, he is put in charge of a prestigious new diamond account.

The script isn't witty enough, hitting the buttons by numbers, which is part of the formula, of course, giving the audience what it craves. The chemistry works and the style takes in the city beautifully. Hudson dazzles. It's boring to go on about it, but she has inherited her mother's comic talents, adding a youthful zest. McConaughey has always been a bit of an outsider, coming from Texas and all. He's not entirely convincing as an East coast WASP, but his charm feels genuine.

Who would you take to the ball? Goldie Hawn's daughter, or [actor]Dennis Quaid[/actor]'s ex? There is no contest.

Reviewed on: 17 Apr 2003
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How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days packshot
Romantic aspirations collide, when a man who takes a bet he can make a woman love him in 10 days hooks up with a girl writing an article on how to dump one in the same time period.
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Director: Donald Petrie

Writer: Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers, based on the novel by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long

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

Year: 2003

Runtime: 116 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US/Germany


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If you like this, try:

Failure to Launch
Two Weeks Notice