AUGUST 9, 2010

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are an incomparable dream couple. Though “Fool’s Gold” left much to be desired, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” puts both actors in the driver’s seat. In most films, only a single person is allowed the upper hand at any given time, but “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” allows both characters to gain the upper hand simultaneously.

Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is an advertiser and in an attempt to gain his biggest client ever, DeLauer Diamonds, he formulates a bet that he can make any woman fall in love with him, using the same tactics used to sell diamonds. Andy Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a magazine columnist, assigned to write a story dubbed after the title of the film. She will date a man and then use the age-old techniques that women unwittingly facilitate to chase men away. Through the mingling of their cliques, the two needles in haystacks collide and begin an opposites-attract relationship, both for personal gain.

There are key moments in the film where each actor shows their impressive acting prowess. Kate Hudson’s scenes occur when her character is faltering, as she eventually falls for Ben. The scene that the two shares in the bathroom at Ben’s childhood home where Andy expresses her emotional response to a hug from Ben’s mother is one of the most memorable moments of the film. Hudson is the only actress that can pull off being annoying and clingy yet still come off considerably adorable. Hudson is also able to show off her exquisite beauty in a fashionista canary dress, decked out with the “Isadora” diamond.

Matthew McConaughey’s character works well for several reasons. For starters, the Benjamin Barry character comes off similar to what one would imagine Matthew McConaughey’s personality would imitate in reality, as a suave ladies’ man. Also, Ben gets to be himself most of the film, not pretending to be something he is not, besides maybe faithful and devoted, contrary to Andy, who plays fake a majority of the film.

By the last few minutes of the film, the viewer is left to chose a side in the heated confrontation between McConaughey and Hudson. Who’s more to blame for leading the other on? The fact is that they were both right and wrong in their own ways and since you sympathize with both characters practically equally, it is truly difficult to choose a side, one-hundred percent of the way.

Personally, the film could have ended at Ben’s party for the DeLauers, having provided ample time to resolve any conflicts, but like many of the film’s predecessors, the never-ending ending (the “a few weeks later” ending) becomes a theme among the romantic comedy genre (“Hitch,” “Good Luck Chuck,” etc.) as if the writers are unsure how to end the film. Car chase scenes, blaring Gin Blossoms, and “lack of a fight” reconciliations do not make for a fulfilling end.

“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” continues to stay one of my favorite romantic comedies. The combination of lavish Kate Hudson and charming Matthew McConaughey with a sui generis storyline, and the product is absolutely exceptional. The main reason for Hudson and McConaughey coming off so well in the film is due to the lack of star-power filling the rest of the film. None of their friends or coworkers are noteworthy and completely leave the film open as a platform for Hudson and McConaughey to shine. Not only do you fall in love with the characters and their situations, but you also desire to view the film repeatedly, just to relive all the emotions.

February 7, 2003

Donald Petrie

Kristen Buckley
Brian Regan
Burr Steers

“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”
by Michele Alexander & Jeannie Long

Paramount Pictures

(for some sex-related material)


116 minutes

John Bailey

David Newman

Debra Neil-Fisher

Kate Hudson
Matthew McConaughey
Adam Goldberg
Michael Michele
Shalom Harlow
Kathryn Hahn
Bebe Neuwirth
Thomas Lennon
Annie Parisse

Lynda Obst
Robert Evans
Christine Peters

$50 million

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