Romantic Comedies, also known as Rom-Coms about battles of the sexes and love-hate relationships have been largely overdone by Hollywood; however, I couldn’t stop myself from enjoying the newest addition to the genre, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Writers Kristen Buckley (of 101 Dalmations) and Burr Steers (of 17 Again ) wrote a refreshingly witty and sharp script that allowed viewers to easily overlook the cliche and predictable plot.
The movie took place in New York City, a setting used in comparable rom-coms such as Sex and the City, and involved a journalist named Andie Anderson, played by Kate Hudson, who was assigned an article based on the things that women do incorrectly in relationships. The article was inspired by Andie’s best friend, Michelle, who committed a series of mistakes that resulted in the end of multiple romances, yet she was unaware of what she was doing wrong. Michelle was played by Kathryn Hahn, a talented and diverse actress who deserved more screen time than she received throughout the course of the movie.
Hudson’s character performed multiple hilarious antics during the movie to convince Ben, played by Matthew Mcconaughey, to break up with her. For example. she interrupted his boys’ night in, made him miss the last, most exciting seconds of a Lakers game, decorated his house in pink, and created a photo album of what their future children might look like. Hudson showed off her talent in this movie by switching personalities from a psychotic girlfriend to a cool and collected grown woman in just a few seconds. She did her mother, Goldie Hawn, proud in the movie with her charming persona and funny comments, which was not surprising for she is no stranger to romantic comedies; she has starred in movies such as Something Borrowed, Raising Helen, and A Little Bit of Heaven.
Mcconaughey was a great addition to the movie for the effortless chemistry between him and Hudson made the movie even more enjoyable to watch. He is also not new to the romantic comedy genre, for he has starred in The Wedding Planner, and exposes his humorous side in whatever he does. Him and Hudson have even gone on to star in an action film Fool’s Gold together after the release of this movie.
Because of their wonderful chemistry, what was projected onscreen was only an extension of their relationship. Mcconaughey’s character, Benjamin Barry, was trying to break into the diamond industry, and his cocky attitude caused him to make a deal with some sly colleagues– if he was able to get a girl to fall in love with him within ten days, he would be able to pitch the advertisement for the diamond campaign. The colleagues got to choose the girl though, and predictably, they chose Andie. He is then forced to ignore all of the crazy things she does to him, and as she slowly lets her real personality show, they begin to fall in love.
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days could easily be written off as just another rom-com, but when looking further, I could see the comments they were making regarding the application of gender stereotypes to relationships. Andie and her friend Michelle represented the idea of women in relationships as being clingy, overbearing, and overly emotional, while Ben represented the idea that men will stay in a relationship with a girl not matter how crazy she is for purely physical reasons. They poked fun at this by showing that Andie wasn’t really crazy, and that Ben was truly in love with her for her personality.
The movie also addresses the belief that women shouldn’t care about politics or global issues and they should stick to worrying about clothing, makeup, and similar subjects. Andie wrote columns about these things for years and wanted to start writing about more pressing issues, but was denied by her boss who told her she had to keep writing about material things until her column became a ‘must read’. The irony in this lies within the whole reason that she’s acting like a cliche women in order to no longer be like one.
As the movie reached its final stretch and the ironic and minorly frustrating antics came to a close, the inevitable fate of the duo was revealed as they discovered each other’s secret. Although they hated each other for it, they of course made amends in the end. There was an inclusion of an overused scene where Ben ran after Andie as she got in a taxi to move to D.C. , yet Petrie still had me doubling over in laughter and smiling from ear-to-ear regardless. Regardless of how foreseeable as the ending was, director Donald Petrie (of Miss Congeniality and Just My Luck) didn’t disappoint with his new interpretation of an otherwise cliche ending. ◆
Director: Donald Petrie
Writer: Kristen Buckley, Burr Steers
Stars: Kate Hudson, Matthew Mcconaughey
Year Filmed: 2003
Running Time: 1 Hr 56 Min
Genre: Romantic – Comedy