A How To Movie
As romantic comedies go, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", as in Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey it has two very good looking stars and was directed by Donald Petrie, who directed the enjoyable "Miss Congeniality". But for some reason I couldn't see the storyline working, how wrong could I be. The story is pleasantly amusing and although not totally original still feels unique enough to stop "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" falling into a pit of run of the mill romantic comedies.
Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson - The Four Feathers) sets about spicing up her How-To column in Composure Magazine by attempting to get a guy to fall for her, and then get him to dump her within 10 days. At the same time, advertising guru Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey - Reign of Fire) makes a wager with his boss that he can meet a woman and have her fall in love with him within 10 days. Predictably Andie and Benjamin meet and ignorant to each other's bets quickly become involved. But when Andie starts to try and get Benjamin to finish with her, Benjamin must do all he can not to be repulsed by her so that he can win his bet.
After you get over the initial seemingly unrealistic, but still enjoyable, set up, with the "How to ...." article and the bet to make a woman fall in love with you "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" flows along at a reasonable pace as we watch scene after funny scene as the two romantic leads try their best to achieve their goals, whilst in fact really falling in love with each other. Most of these scenes, although based on reality, are made to feel just over the top so that they are fun but not in a gut busting way. Such as Andie's attempts to feminise Benjamin's bachelor pad with fluffy toys and cushions, or her very childlike voice when talking to him on the phone, all realistic but just over the top enough to make you laugh rather than cringe.
Whilst "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" is very enjoyable, it is also totally predictable and with such an unrealistic initial set up it is no surprise that it ends on a predictable and seemingly unrealistic scenario as it starts with. But with the number of recycled storylines, and Hollywood's inability to come up with anything new and refreshing, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" is just above the bog standard run of the mill romantic comedies which litter bargain buckets.
As with any romantic comedy, the chemistry between the lead characters is critical to its success, and that is no more so in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days". In the role of Andie Anderson is Kate Hudson, the beautiful daughter of Goldie Hawn who in all honesty strolls through the movie with ease. Whilst opposite her is Matthew McConaughey as Benjamin Barry, the slightly cocky but charming advertising exec. This pairing works amazingly well as the on screen chemistry is very apparent in every scene. But "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" doesn't just rely on this, as in their individual scenes they put in entertaining performances which makes the movie as a whole enjoyable.
Although the focus of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" is naturally on the characters of Andie and Benjamin, the supporting cast are just as important and surprisingly their performances are more than the usual fade into the background types which are usually found in these movies. Some of the funniest scenes in the movie revolve around the supporting cast, such as when Benjamin takes Andie to see his family, with their range of completely different and amusing characters.
What this all boils down to is that as is the case with so many modern romantic comedies, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" is an enjoyable movie which will receive several more viewings from myself before being forgotten about, but I doubt it will ever be thought of as a classic. There is not really anything wrong with it, other than the slightly unrealistic set-up, but it is a romantic comedy, so a little bit of fantasy is allowed.